Questioning – more thoughts

We all know that Bloom’s triangle/pyramid is pretty well debunked but I’d like to take a look at two different types of questions. If I was a Bloom’s supporter I’d call the first part low-order questions and the second high-order questions.

I will not do that in the way Bloom’s is often presented. The value in knowledge-based, low-order questions is two-fold. They provide a mechanism where the teacher can check if children have got what has been taught. I would place this second in value. Questions of this nature are needed to check that learning has happened and to revisit if there are significant gaps in students understanding

The second value is to support learning directly. Knowledge-based questions require the student to retrieve the information. I assume we are all well aware of the learning value of recall practice.

Ok, higher-order questions. These are not simply innately difficult but what then makes them higher-order? I suggest that such questions are ones which need the learner to connect together more than one piece of knowledge in a way they have not yet done. Hard to be sure that has not already happened as some children do go home and think about what has been taught. In that thinking, they may be linking what they have just been taught with what they already know. This is what we want our higher-order questions in class to do. Make them have to connect different pieces of information to be able to answer our questions. We are supporting their making meaning, which is what makes learning memorable.

I think that one would have to plan such questions in advance.

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