Asking questions in the classroom
   Review your own questioning to avoid routines

Checklist for teachers to observe their own questioning practices

____Asks student to support answer with evidence or argument

____Asks student to specify criteria when expressing judgments

____Asks questions that go beyond facts

____Asks questions that stimulate reflection beyond the class itself

____Asks questions which focus on a particular relevant aspect of the matter at hand

____Asks related questions in a series

____Asks questions which require recall of information

____Asks questions which require processing of information:

____Grouping and classification

____Compare and contrast

____Specify cause and effect or other relationship


____Asks questions with more than one right answer

____Asks student to apply information from reading or lecture

____Asks questions which require students to generalize

____To make inferences

____To evaluate

____Asks questions on matters of opinion, where any answer is right

____Asks questions which encourage hypotheses about the unknown or untested

____Asks questions that relate to the experience of the student

____Asks a variety of questions for different pedagogical purposes:


____Practice (drill)

____Self-awareness (student to realize he isn’t getting it)


____Variety, change of pace in classroom


From “Looking for Good Teaching:  A Guide to Peer Observation,” by B. B. Helling, 1976, Danforth Faculty Fellowship Project Report, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.  (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 186 380).

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