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Chin, C. (2001). Learning in science: What do students’ questions tell us about their thinking? Education Journal, 29(2), 85-103.
The purpose of this study was to (1) study how students’ questions contribute to the knowledge construction process, and (2) relate the nature of students’ questions to their approaches to learning. Six Grade 8 students were observed during class activities, and interviewed before and after instruction about related science concepts. Students’ questions included basic information questions which reflected a surface learning approach, and wonderment questions which characterized a deep approach. While wonderment questions stimulated the students themselves or their peers to hypothesize, predict, thought-experiment and generate explanations, basic information questions elicited little conceptual talk or deep cognitive processing. Although the students did not always ask wonderment questions spontaneously, they were able to generate such questions when prompted to do so. Some strategies related to student questioning that teachers can use to encourage deeper thinking in students are suggested.
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