INSET : Higher Cognitive Questioning Strategies

questioning strategies

Fantastic strategies backed by research and resources to take away

Donia Peters, Head of Music, Clifton High School

  • Are you looking to increase challenge and deepen learning through the outstanding use of questions?
  • Do you want to discover and utilise the 10 most effective questioning techniques?
  • How do you improve and extend the questions your pupils ask?

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

High Impact Questioning Strategies

Questioning is one of the nine research-based strategies presented in Classroom Instruction That Works (Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock 2001). Higher cognitive questions (application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) should make up a higher percentage of questions asked in the classroom. Studies show that a combination of lower and higher questions is more effective than the exclusive use of one or the other. Increasing the use of higher cognitive questions can produce superior learning gains for older students, particularly those in secondary school, and does not reduce student performance on lower cognitive questions.

INSET Outline

Understanding the value of questioning

  • What styles are helpful/ unhelpful?
  •  Features of effective questions
  • Analysis of video footage
  • How should we plan our class questioning?

Top 10 Questioning Strategies for the Outstanding classroom

  • What are the top 10 most effective questioning strategies?
  • How to get the best out of questions:
  • Encouraging pupils to ask questions
  • Questioning as a whole-staff focus
  • Observing good questioning in the classroom

The power of questioning in the learning process

  • Staging questions to engage, motivate and explore
  • How to respond to pupils’ answers
  • Using questioning to personalise learning
  • Managing whole-class discussion
  • Developing reasoned arguments
  • Using challenge to develop pupil resilience and confidence
  • Increase pupil attainment through making judgements and supporting conclusions

Higher Cognitive Questioning to challenge ideas

  • Explore concepts through Socratic questioning techniques
  • Extend Critical Thinking skills
  • Questions for developing metacognition & self-regulation
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