Why this approach is important

As a teacher, being able to ask pertinent and challenging questions is an important skill to learn, because it stimulates students’ thinking and their responses provide you with a range of useful information and insights into their knowledge and current ideas. Figure 1 highlights the key advantages of asking purposeful questions.

Figure 1 Key advantages of asking purposeful questions.

Asking good questions in a planned and purposeful way will make a significant difference to the students’ achievement. Questions can be used to give students feedback about their ideas, their understanding and their progress. Most students welcome such information, especially if it is given in a positive and constructive way. It helps them to measure their progress and gives them confidence.

The important thing to do when planning a lesson is to be clear about the kind of questions that you could use to help you achieve the intended learning outcomes. Developing students’ scientific understanding about forces and how they affect the movement of objects in different ways is not an easy task.

What you can learn in this unit

1 Questioning and thinking