McNAIR, DALLET and CLARKE, 2000. Effective teaching: questioning teachers’ interactions with pupils in technology and design. IDATER 2000 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University
Effective teachers create rich learning opportunities that foster understanding of key subject concepts, and part of their effectiveness is seen in the range and types of questions they ask pupils. While research literature on questioning abounds, little is written about how questioning theory develops capability within individual subjects. This paper examines teachers' questions from a subject perspective and links them to questioning theory by ranking within a hierarchy. Of 191 higher-order questions asked across 22 hours of Key Stage Three technology and design teaching in Northern Ireland, those questions relating to the key subject skill of analysing are examined.
Data indicate that teachers' higher-order questions are used both to induce responses and as a model of pupils' own analyses of design factors. The study highlights the difficulty in maintaining higher-order responses from higher-order questions by showing how teachers further articulated the concept of analysis on the basis of limited pupil responses. We highlight the need for teachers to provide opportunities for pupils to respond in ways that reflect depth of understanding of key technology and design skills. The paper concludes with a brief discussion about how question analysis contributes to a greater understanding of teacher effectiveness in technology and design.