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Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Educational Research Association of Singapore, Singapore, May 2006
Much research has been done on classroom questioning that examines the phenomenon from the teacher’s perspective. Comparatively rare are studies that look at student questioning as an instructional strategy, which has a strong metacognitive aspect. In contrast to the days in the classroom when students listen passively during lessons, a vibrant classroom learning environment is nowadays recognised as one that engenders and supports students who participate actively by asking questions. How may students be supported in asking questions during a lesson and how do they respond to attempts to make them ask more questions in class? This paper reports on some findings from a study on the use of a student questioning approach with mathematically weak students. Four mathematics teachers from three different schools designed their lessons to include specific times for student to ask questions, in contrast to the common practice of students asking questions whenever they feel the need to do so. The students were given laminated cards containing some pre-designed question prompts chosen by the teachers. These prompts were designed to assist students in asking questions about the meaning, method, reasoning, and the application aspects of the mathematics topics being taught. At the designated time, the teacher paused for the students to select a question prompt. The teacher then called on some students to read the selected question from the cards or to ask their self-generated question. The teacher would answer some of these questions on the spot. At the end of a student questioning episode, the students would record their experiences of the learning and responses to the question-and-answer interaction that had just taken place. Quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview) data were analysed to determine the student reactions to this innovative learning technique. Teachers of other subject areas can easily incorporate this approach in their lessons to promote active learning through students formulating and asking their own questions.
CRP 47/03 WKY
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