Best Practice

A questioning classroom: How to encourage debate and discussion

In this five-part series, Matt Bromley looks at how we can create a questioning classroom. In part three, he explores ways of creating a classroom culture conducive to discussion and debate, including seven key rules, how to group students, and ways to reduce teacher talk
Image: Adobe Stock

Last time, I explored a dialogic teaching strategy called Socratic questioning which encourages students to take an active role in their learning, develop analytical skills, and engage in meaningful discussions.

Socratic questioning also fosters a student-centred classroom where curiosity, inquiry, and critical thinking are at the forefront of the learning process. But all this requires a classroom culture that is conducive to discussion and debate…

Establishing clear rules and routines for classroom discussions is therefore crucial to creating a productive and respectful learning environment where students feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and engaging in meaningful dialogue.

Here are key rules and routines to consider implementing in your questioning classroom and ideas for what we might encourage students to do:

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here