Higher Order Questions

As teachers, we know that we need to ask the (dreaded?) high order questions to spark in-depth thinking, engagement and evaluation.  These kinds of questions help us to connect to the critical thinking and creativity we want to teach to embed future learning principles and skills.

I really enjoyed this blog post by Rebecca Alber, which reminds us that ‘higher order’ questions do not require agonising thought processes on the behalf of teachers to pose them.  The old adage of ‘KISS’, keeping it simple, works well!  She suggests the following five questions as being powerful ones:

  1. What do you think?
  2. Why do you think that?
  3. How do you know this?
  4. Can you tell me more?
  5. What questions do you still have?

Better yet – make these into posters for around the classroom walls, and get the students asking these questions of themselves, their peers, and …  their teachers?!

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