Move Me on 177: using questioning effectively

The problem page for history mentors

Published: 16th December 2019

Move Me On is designed to build critical, informed debate about the character of teacher training, teacher education and professional development. It is also designed to offer practical help to all involved in training new history teachers. Each issue presents a situation in initial teacher education/training with an emphasis upon a particular history-specific issue.
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This issue’s problem: Christine Pizan is struggling to use questioning effectively.

In reviewing Christine Pizan’s progress as she comes to the end of her first term, her mentor, Blanche, has picked up on a common theme running through the feedback from her recent lessons. While Christine is generally well aware of the learning objectives of the particular lessons that she has been asked to teach and ensures that most activities are effectively tied to them, she seems to lose this clarity of focus when it comes to the use of question and answer.

Her lesson plans indicate that she recognises the need to plan the questions that she is going to ask. Observations of her teaching suggest that she is also beginning to focus on ensuring that the questions are well distributed; she is picking up on the ways in which some students tend to dominate if she doesn’t deliberately draw others in. But she seems to give much less thought to the purpose of the questions that she is asking and has struggled on several occasions to deal effectively with students’ responses...

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