Posted in Learning

Like the Riddler!

Questioning, Enquiring, Reflecting,  on average, how many times a day do teachers use this tactic? Recent studies state that 90% of a lesson is given over to questioning, either teacher directed or amongst groups of pupils. Educators know that the method of questioning is not there to gauge learning but rather to guide the pupils to new aspects of learning formatively, working our way up the verb pyramid that is Blooms. The skill is travelling with the pupils no matter what ability, to develop the learning through questions and answers.

70% of pupils will respond within 5 seconds, and usually with an average of 3 words. The question we have to ask is;

Are we allowing enough time for a higher level response from the pupils?

One way we want to encourage a higher order of thinking/problem solving is to wait. I am waiting for 5 seconds after every pupil response, and I will tell you, it is excruciating! That dead air, the stillness as time stops and you realise that 5 seconds actually feels like 5 hours! But, after several attempts, pupils begin to realise that the gap is for for them to fill, not the teacher.Ted Wragg postulates that the percentage of higher order questioning should exponentially increase with age, (50%+ at the age of 10 onwards), and we should break the habitual questioning techniques we use everyday.

This will be cognitively demanding for both parties involved, but hopefully will develop those stakeholders into problem solvers, risk takers and ultimately learning riddlers!


Blooms as a wheel has more of an inclusive feel to it, allowing all pupil abilities to attempt higher order learning


Assistant Head Teacher, Geographer, all round Educational Enthusiast

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