Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Good teaching.


“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.”  

Josef Albers 

Questions are a powerful weapon to thinking.  If we ask questions that require a "yes" or "no" answer we limit the student.  Open ended questions require no right or wrong answer, however, open ended questions promote critical thinking and problem solving as well as encouraging discussion and language development.

Some examples of great phrases or questions to promote discussion are:-
Tell me about...
I wonder...
Show how you know...
Can you explain what you are thinking...?
What are you wondering...?
What questions do you have...?
What part is tricky...?
What would happen if...?
What did you notice...?
What did you learn...?
What do you already know that could help you...?
What would you do if...?
What are you visualising...?
What do you think...?
What strategies did you use...?
How did you come to that conclusion...?
How could you show that in another way...?
How could you draw/write about or demonstrate your thinking...?
How do you know...?
How can we...?

After working in a Preschool for 18 years promoting discussion and social interactions amongst the children was a high priority and required teacher reflection and daily planning.  The preschool program promoted the  project based approach and this approach allowed the children to come up with their own conclusions and the questions teachers asked promoted this.  Now working with K-6 children I continue to try to ask questions that allow students to discuss their thoughts openly.
Teachers and parents asking questions that promote thinking and discussion will benefit children immensely.

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