17 October 2010

Common Weaknesses in Questioning in the Teaching and Learning!

Badly formed Questions or vague , very general questions: This kind of questions ,may be no answers at all,or there may be so many possible answers that the questions are not worth asking.For example a teacher in Geography lesson may ask ,"What do we find in the forests?"What the teacher is expecting is snakes.But the repond is multitude of answers such as trees,elephants ,ants,flowers, mouse,rabbits etc.Such a question is usless and hinders rather than helps learning.
Rhetorical questions:These are statements with interrogative phrase like" isn't" or "Don't you think so?" attached to the end.Such questions do not want an answer they only seek approval .They serve no purpose because there is no demand of neither knowledge nor thought from the pupils.
Post script questions:These occur when a teacher has been happily teaching without any questions and suddenly realises he ought to be asking some ,and so tags a question on to the end of his lecture.Perhaps like this."New York is the Capital of USA". "What is the Capital of USA?"Like rhetorical questions ,these require no thought .Their only test is of whether or not the children have been paying attention.
Fill in the blank questions:In their writing form these provide an acceptable kind of test knowledge because they test learning.But in their oral form they are usually a cover for the impatient or lazy teacher who will not take the trouble to formulate his questions carefully .So there come out questions like "When looked at his hands he found they were ... what?" Good questions are such that only the correct answer fit properly.
Repeated Questions: In different ways may confuse children rather than clarify ,what you are after .Children who know that you always ask a question twice soon get into the habit of attending only the second time.Do not think that ,because of the children failed to answer immediately ,they have not heard the question .If it is thought ,provoking one they will need time to think.A little urging may be all they need.
Multiple Questions:Good questions are always simply expressed .If you do not think out your questions before hand ,they tend to grow as you see the problem for different aspects or have to guard against the children getting the wrong idea.This is the kind of question that results"Which of the sons of Jacob did God appoints to be the governor of Egypt and how did he chose him,was his choice dictacted by reason or other means and ,if so how was it done?"
Unlinked Questions:When questioning is uesd as a method of teaching the questions must follow a sequence which makes the answer to the first the starting point to the next and so on.The questions are then linked like sign post directing the pupils along a definite route to a definite destination .Unlinked questions are usually the results of inexperience.They form an illogical assortment consisting of easy and difficult questions which lead no where in particular.
Limited Questions:Some teachers regard questioning as an air man who priortise the parachute for emergency only.They look upon questioning as a help only for times of difficulties as when they run dry for information and ask ,"Has anyone have any question?" They fail to see the questioning technique of teaching and so their questions are few and far from achieving objectives.
Teachers limit the number of children whom they ask questions .They limit their questions either to the children at the front of the class or to those who put up their hands to answer.You need to spread your questions well and see that they make as an interesting challenge to children and give them a sense of achievement when they are well answered.
Its not only teachers who are supposed to ask questions ,even learners can ask questions too.
In regards to questioning in the teaching and learning situation ,take note of these practical suggestions:
•Indicate whether the answer is wrong or right as it is given by a learner.
•Don't answer your own questions ,wait for pupils' answers and let them speak for themselves ,do not make the habit of repeating their answers.
•Make sure the answers are heard by the whole class .It helps if you place yourself as far as possible for those to whom you address the questions so that if you hear their answers and can be also sure that for every one is hearing what is being said anywhere in the classroom.

1 comment:

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    Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.

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