Best Practice

Going beyond surface knowledge: Designing powerful questions

Too often the questions we ask in the classroom don’t move beyond the surface knowledge. In the final instalment of his series, Michael Chiles looks at how we can design powerful questions that ensure deeper thinking
Image: Adobe Stock -

Teachers are often referred to as "professional question-askers”. The act of asking questions and its role in the teaching and learning process has deep roots that can be traced back to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.

Socrates believed that through the art of questioning we encourage reflection and provoke deeper thinking. In his view, questions were not just a means of obtaining answers but a tool for guiding learners on a journey from surface-level understanding to profound insights.

So far in this trilogy of articles I have considered how we can build a culture of questioning and encourage student participation before then looking at using questions to enable responsive teaching.

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