Best Practice

Teaching practice: Hinge questions

Oil the hinge! Continuing his series on teaching practice, Matt Bromley now looks at how to make multiple-choice, hinge questions work in your classroom and your teaching

Editor's Note: This article is part of a series of 10 best practice pieces to have published in 2017. Access them here:

According to Professor Dylan Wiliam there are only two valid reasons for asking a question in class: either to provide information to the teacher about what to do next, or to cause students to think.

The latter involves dialogic questioning, which is to say questions that encourage discussion, questions that are open, philosophical, and challenging.

And dialogic questions – such as Socratic questions – don’t just cause thinking, they promote critical thinking. Open questions which cause students to think in this way are widely regarded in academia as effective teaching strategies – as Socrates said: “Questioning is the only defensible form of teaching.” I shall look at dialogic questions in my next article in this series.

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