When asked the question, "What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" I thought to myself, "To be honest, I don't really know." How sad! I know I want to be a teacher, but I need to know how to ask effective questions as well. So, I started using resources given to me and doing my own research to figure it out.
I simply googled, "How to ask effective questions as a teacher," and multiple things popped up. I just randomly clicked on one, and a PDF file named Asking More Effective Questions from William F. McComas and Linda Abraham from Rossier School of Education, is what showed up. I started reading, and there were two things that caught my eye. One, the 1860 edition of Barnard's American of Instruction States, "to question well is to teach well." Two, "Questioning plays a critical role in the way instructors structure the class environments, organize the contents of the course and has deep implications in the way that students assimilate the information that is presented and discussed in class" (McComas and Abraham from Rossier School of Education). Both of these statements are so true! It is up to us, as future teachers, to learn how to ask questions to be effective teachers.
There are two types of questions: low order (close ended) and high order (open ended). Low order questions are typically the "what" questions, these are usually questions about meaning. High order questions are those that ask us "why" and "how", this type of questions let students use their critical thinking skills, and makes them think more in depth of the concept in order to find an answer. An example of a low order question would be, "What color is that dog?" An example of a high order question is, "Can you give an example of this?" Of course we want to ask the high order questions!
When thinking about how to ask questions keep in mind these ideas giving to us by the Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis:
1. When planning questions, keep in mind your course goals.
2. Avoid asking "leading questions."
3. Follow a "yes-or-no" question with an additional question.
4. Aim for direct, clear, specific questions.
5. In class discussions, do not ask more than one question at once.
6. When you plan each class session, include notes of when you will pause to ask and answer questions.
7. Ask a mix of different types of questions.
8. Wait for students to think and formulate responses (usually 5-10 seconds).
9. Do not interrupt Students' answers.
10. Show that you are interested in students' answers, whether right or wrong.
11. Develop responses that keep students thinking.
12. If a student gives an incorrect of weak answer, point out what is incorrect or weak about the answer, but ask the student a follow-up question that will lead that student, and the class, to the correct or stronger answer.
If we use these ideas as a teacher we will know how to ask questions to be an effective teacher.