Research tells us that questioning has a positive impact on student learning and is the signature of outstanding pedagogical practice.
This is why questioning lies at the heart of inquiry. Inquiry teachers want their students to be questioners – to be curious, risk taking, wondering learners who are thirsty to find out, critique and explore the world.
Research conducted by the likes of David Hopkins and John Hattie, highlight that questioning plays a large part in our classrooms, being the 2nd most utilised teaching strategy behind teacher talk. However, most of the questions that we ask our students are lower-order or lower-cognitive questions that ask students to recall facts or are procedural. This is indicative of a focus on knowledge acquisition.
Utilising higher-order questioning enables students to convert information to knowledge, and move from Knowledge acquisition to knowledge application.
It is important to emphasise, as brain studies show, that motivation to learn is not sustained simply by asking questions. It is sustained by identifying, explaining, and using the new knowledge and understanding that results from asking and responding to questions.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Critical Thinking Skills is widely used as the basis for constructing questions – particularly higher order questions. Bloom classifies thinking into 6 categories: