Questioning class members is one of the defining features of teaching. It is the single most common variation from the direct presentation of material, and the basic mechanism for creating a dialogue with students.
Questioning in school classes in particular has spawned quite a lot of research. I once had a student who was a language teacher, for whom questioning was her stock-in-trade. She decided to research her practice for her action-research project. She scoured the literature, and when I went to observe her, she presented me with a list of thirteen different kinds of question she might be using, and asked me to score how many times she used each type. It was almost impossible to do, and unfortunately despite all her efforts, the results were not very revealing. So these notes do not follow the literature — they just pick up on common practice.
So let's start with some questions! (This site is very low-tech—deliberately so, because I'm only a sub-geek rather than an über-geek—so bear with the simple system of hyperlinks.)
- Why do you use questions? This is not a rhetorical question. (Rhetorical questions are not a good idea in teaching—they accustom students to the idea that if they wait long enough you will answer any question yourself.) Please think of some answers before proceeding.