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Facilitate Effective Teaching: Uses of Questions

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One of the most common problems arising in the teaching-learning process is the inability of the teacher to get learners to think intensively about a given topic for the day. Interesting and challenging questions can be used effectively to arouse, hold an
               class participation

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There are various uses of the question that the teacher can utilize to obtain desirable results. These are:

To stimulate the learners to think: One of the most common problems arising in the teaching-learning process is the inability of the teacher to get learners to think intensively about a given topic for the day. The effective use of thought provoking questions may serve to remedy this problem.

To motivate the learners’ interest: Interesting and challenging questions can be used effectively to arouse, hold and sustain interest of the learners. An example of a motivating, holding and sustaining question to capture the interest of the class in health education after a unit on health problems has been identified. Example: "If you were an officer in your community representing the youth, what recommendations would you offer to improve its health conditions?"

To diagnose learners' difficulties arising from learning tasks: Questions usually help in determining the difficulties of the learners in a given lesson. Through the use of a wide range of question types - oral or written, objective or subjective, simple or difficult, the teacher can obtain an appraisal of their weaknesses. An example of question diagnosing the difficulties of students in the use of present tense third person singular number: "What form of verb is used in the third person singular number?"

To help the learners organize, synthesize and evaluate learning experiences: Teachers can heed learners organize, synthesize and evaluate carefully the values of the data and other information gathered and help realize their significance. Example: "Was the king right in abdicating his throne in marrying a woman who does not belong with the royal family?" Qualify your answer.

Notwithstanding from developing the ability to help learners to synthesize, questions can assist them to organize and evaluate the data and information to conclude generalizations. Teachers can formulate questions that will lead learners to see relationships; upon wider perspective and this make their interpretations and conclusions. Examples: Why is there a need for citizens to pay taxes? What do we get for taxes paid? Are paying taxes necessary?

To aid the learners to relate pertinent and important experiences to the lesson: It is important to note that some questions can aid learners to pick out and remember some important points in the topic. These questions can help learners to organize their thinking about a particular lesson in a systematic and logical manner. In preparing a brief report about an educational trip made by the children to the Statue of Liberty, the teacher may ask these questions. "What is the significance of Statue of Liberty?" "Can you describe the place as a historical spot, and as a tourist destination?"

Pupils/students come to school with varying experiences which may have direct bearing in the understanding of the lesson. To supplement and clarify certain difficult points in a lesson, the teacher can draw upon experiences of these learners through the use of questions that relate to their experiences. For example, in teaching about the weather condition, the teacher may ask: "Have you ever experience watching trees during a stormy day? What did you observe?"

To develop new appreciations and attitudes: Questions can help pupils/learners modify, clarify and expand ideas relating to appreciations and attitudes. A well-directed question can awaken and motivate the learners to respond in a given situation and thus condition the response thereafter toward similar ideas or models of behavior. The teacher in literature, in developing appreciation of the beauty of nature may ask the following: "What beautiful things in the poem are made by God? Can you identify them? Which do you think is best? Why?"

To show relationships, such as cause and effect: the learners think about the situations in relation to their causes. It is important to frame questions that are important to avoid meaningless duplication of facts and information without understanding of their relationships. Examples of some questions of this type are: What are the causes of floods? How can we prevent floods? What are the causes of poor health? What are the bad effects of smoking?

To encourage the learners to apply concepts to new situations and problems: In mathematics, after the learners have known a variety of geometric shapes, they may be taught the application of these geometric shapes to meaningful experiences. Examples: What objects can you find in shopping malls that are round, oval, square and triangular? Why are the doors of your house like a rectangle? Why are the wheels of automobiles like a circle?

To provide drill and practice: Some types of learning require certain facts and information to be fixed in mind. The retention of these facts and information are necessary either to continue to stimulate the thinking process or elicit automatic response. Questions that are often asked will certainly help the learners retain facts and information. Such questions are very helpful in subjects like mathematics and languages. Examples: How can we find the number of times one fraction is contained in another when the denominators are alike? What form of the verb is used with time expressions, for example: yesterday, last month, or three months ago?

To encourage learner evaluation: Through well-organized questions, the teacher can motivate learners to evaluate intelligently the significance of the materials learned. Examples: Do you think some teachers are to be blamed for some pupils/students failure? Were the police authorities right arresting the suspected drug pushers?

 

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Lee-Ann Losper
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Posted on Jun 9, 2011

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Levy Dalumpines

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