Questioning – how to think like DI Jack Frost
Teaching is a funny old job. We spend our days asking tens or even hundreds of questions that we generally know the answers to. Questioning is the strategy that we probably rely on most in our teaching.
In every lesson that I have ever taught or observed, at some point there has been an element of questioning. Surely then we should all be experts at it. But actually when we stop and think, how good are we at questioning? According to this contemplative teacher, not very:
“I’d become dissatisfied with the closed Q&A style that my unthinking teaching had fallen into, and would frequently be lazy in my acceptance of right answers and sometimes even tacit complicity with the class to make sure none of us had to work too hard…They and I knew that if the Q&A wasn’t going too smoothly, I’d change the question, answer it myself or only seek answers from the brighter students. There must have been times when an outside observer would see my lessons as a small discussion group surrounded by a group of sleepy onlookers.”
Now I don’t know about you, when I think about my teaching, this situation does sound familiar!
So how do we question properly?