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This lesson will highlight various questioning techniques that can be used in the classroom to promote critical thinking. A short quiz will follow to test your knowledge.

Importance of Questioning

Questioning in teaching and learning not only encourages students to think critically; it allows teachers to assess whether their students understand a particular concept.

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This requires the teacher to be able to come up with the right questions in order to get students to provide responses that are both relevant and of high standard.Critical thinking means your students are able to go beyond what’s on the surface and really dig deep in order to answer a given question. This means the teacher does not want to ask a basic question like ”Who are the main characters in the story?” Instead, the teacher may ask ”How are each of the main characters important to the progression of the plot?”Students will not only have to be able to identify the main characters, but they will also need to understand the plot in order to provide meaningful responses to the latter question. This type of questioning, if done consistently, will develop the critical thinking skills that students need as 21st-century learners.

The Questioning Process

When teachers raise the level of their questions, they will increase the likelihood that their students will raise the level of their responses. If in doubt about the type of questions that should be used in order to encourage critical thinking skills, it may be a good idea to use a tool like Bloom’s taxonomy as a guide.Bloom’s taxonomy is a systematic approach to teaching and learning that can be used as a resource for question design. Levels of teaching and learning are broken into at least six components:

  • Evaluation
  • Synthesis
  • Analysis
  • Application
  • Comprehension
  • Knowledge

Teachers can use the various levels to create questions based on learning objectives. If you, as the teacher, want to assess students’ ability to analyze, you might ask ”How would you compare the hero and the villain in this story?” If you want students to synthesize, you may ask ”How would you develop the plot so that the ending of the story would not be tragic? ”

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