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Higher and Lower Order Questioning

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James Wilson

on 23 January 2014

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Transcript of Higher and Lower Order Questioning


Lower Order Questioning

Higher Order Questioning

Socratic Questioning
Higher and Lower Order Questioning
Lower Level Questioning
Higher Order Questions
Socratic Questioning
Three domains of educational activities or learning:
Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self)
Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

Bloom's Taxonomy (1956)
SCLY 1 exam

24 marks available for A02 marks (out of a possible 60)

Why are levels of questioning important?
Lower Order Questioning
Tend to be 'what' questions.

What is the Hawthorne Effect?

Explain what is meant by meant by validity.

Which Sociologists might use this to support their theory/argument?

Why do teachers tend to focus on lower order questions?

Makes you look good?

Examples of Lower Order questions
Higher Order Questioning
Tend to be 'how' and 'why' questions and are open-ended on the whole.

How might this evidence support the 'March of Progress' view?

How could you criticise this view?

Why would Functionalists not agree with this?

Why teachers might not use these?

Wait time ('awkward' silence)
Worried that if a students doesn't know it doesn't reflect well

However the benefits can be vast.
Examples of Higher Order Questioning
Socratic Questioning
The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly.
Socratic Seminars
Knowledge: Remembering
Comprehension: Putting in your own words
Application: Applying knowledge to theory
Make inference and deduction, refer to text
developing a critical stance based on information
making judgements, explaining reasons for judgements, comparing and contrasting, developing reasoning using evidence
Socratic questioning is part of higher order questioning.
Example of Socratic seminar I used:


Sexualisation of Childhood
Music, TV & Film
Commercialisation of childhood
Blurred Lines between adulthood & childhood
Teachers ask up to two questions every minute, up to 400 in a day, around 70,000 a year, or two to three million in the course of a career

Questioning accounts for up to a third of all teaching time, second only to the time devoted to explanation

Most questions are answered in less than a second.

Research has found that increasing the wait time improves the number and quality of the responses - three seconds for a lower-order question and more than 10 seconds for a higher-order question

If you're going to be asking three million questions, it's probably worth making sure you ask the right ones in the right way.
Lesson Plans - Incorporating a mix of higher/lower order questions into lessons attributed to students

Tasks/Activities - Incorporating both into worksheets and tasks. (You could put higher order at the end if you wanted to differentiate) Socratic seminar tasks.

Reflection - Reflect on questioning as it is hard at the beginning but gets easier. Think about how you could support a lower ability student with a higher order question. They can do, it just takes longer. Get something out of them
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