Remember Bloom’s taxonomy? It was newly revised in the 1990’s by a student of Bloom's to reflect the 21st century learner. We typically look at the bottom of the triangle as requiring the lower level thinking skills, and the top as requiring higher level thinking. The same can be true for our questioning skills. The less powerful questions are likely found at the bottom of the triangle while the more powerful and deeper thinking questions are at the top.
So how do we become better questioners? Well, it takes practice. And yes, we will make a mess of it from time to time. Good questioning skills do not happen overnight. We must make a diligent effort to think about our questions before we ask them; even plan them ahead of time. Soon it becomes second nature to think before we speak.
Asking better questions doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road. When we ask “Why?”, the likely response is for students to assume their answer was incorrect. It takes a bit of practice before students are comfortable with explaining their answers, whether the answer is right or wrong. You may even have to model your thinking a time or two to show them how it’s done. But soon, you will see the benefits of asking better questions…from the great responses you receive.
Get into the habit of asking better questions…the answers may surprise you.