The Power of Questions - Ron Ritchart ("How do we harness the power…
The Power of Questions - Ron Ritchart
"How do we harness the power of questions to advance student thinking and learning?"
Questions are culture builders
The kinds of questions we ask or don't ask determines the learning culture in our classroom.
a culture of learner-driven inquirers?
a culture of learner-compliant performers?
Children grow into the intellectual lives of those around them
Asking authentic questions helps create a classroom culture that is intellectually engaging
"I judge the student's learning not by the answers they give but by the questions they ask"
Questioning is the chief way in which teachers and students interact around content. They are the vehicles by which we direct attention, foster understanding, push beyond simplistic answers and expose student's thinking."
The Questioning Conundrum: It's not the question but the answers that determines how powerful the question is!
"It makes no difference whether the question is higher or lower cognitive, simple/complex, fact interpretation. Difference is whether answers to question is predetermined to be right, can be recited or discussed..."
Answers: Concepts VS Facts - Which one generates a rich and deep discussion?
James Nottingham Learning Challenge- Cognitive Wobble
As a class, students tackle discussions in unpacking a conceptual question where they can put for ideas, challenge them, build on them, extend them, etc...
Wondering: How do you develop a culture where students are asking conceptual questions?
Teachers as models for how to ask questions to answers we don't already know. Teachers are the models of what it means to be learner who
Teachers role in harnessing the power of authentic questions
Being present and listening to the discussions generated by the students
Use the student's answers as basis for prodding, challenging, guiding and leading into deeper level of discussion
"A good question can lead students to a certain path of thinking and teachers must be ready to follow."
The questions shouldn't come from prescribed set of questions
Doing so, does not promote a culture of inquirers and thinkers. Students are taught to perform by answering questions held in the teacher's hand.
Does not promote learner's ownership, voice or agency to their learning
Teachers should use "constructive questions" as
guide posts for students to connect ideas
address conceptual conflicts
create, build on or extend ideas and understanding
Socratic method tool: "What makes you say/think that?"
Student benefits of questioning
Positive influence on student engagement
influence on student's critical thinking
helps to promote class culture of inquiry
helps frame learning as a complex, multi-faceted, communal activity - as opposed to process of accumulating information
sense of student-led discovery