Improving your questioning in history to improve learning

We all know that less than 10% of questions we traditionally ask in British classrooms actually caused new learning. Most concern rehearsing what pupils already know or are about classroom management. So its probably time to re-consider why we ask questions at all I they have so little impact on learning. Dylan Wiliam claims that there are two principal reasons for asking questions: to cause thinking and to provide you with information about what to do next. I would agree.
Other issues to do with questioning will be explored in later blogs but for the moment I will leave you with one thought. When you ask a question are you interested just in getting the right answer or are you genuinely interested in what pupils are thinking?
Are we more interested in students’ ability to do exactly the things we have just taught them to do, or in their ability to apply their newly-acquired knowledge to a similar but different context?

Among the many facets of questioning that I have blogged about in the past, the one I would highly recommend is the use of carefully thought-out hinge questions. Why not have another look at the blog to remind yourself how they work.

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