Skip to main content

Asking questions is what we teachers do!

Hello colleagues, Though I know I still do it, I've been working on trying to limit the Initiate-Response-Evaluate (IRE) model of questioning. This manner of questioning is quite common in many classrooms, and I still believe there is an appropriate place for it. The teacher asks a question, a student responds, and the teacher evaluates whether the answer is right or wrong.

I've been working on not evaluating a student's correct response immediately by saying the answer is "correct" or "good." Instead, I want the rest of the class to think about their classmate's answer. Do they agree with the answer? Why or why not? In this way, I'm working on getting more students engaged in thinking.

Does this different way of questioning resonate with you? What questioning practices have you found effective?

There is a useful Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy fact sheet available on LINCS on teacher questions, "Deeper Learning Through Questioning." Have you tried out any of the ideas featured in this fact sheet? Let us know how you approach questions. After all, asking questions is what we teachers do!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP