ERIC Number: ED243931
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Are Higher Level Questions Really Better? Working Paper #3.
Farrar, Mary Thomas
Educators generally assume that questioning promotes learning and that higher level questions do so better than lower level questions. But there are a number of problems with these assumptions. First, the classification of questions as higher level or lower level is ambiguous. The distinction is confused by such issues as non-controversial responses, use of the convergent/divergent distinction, question relevancy sequencing, and simultaneous functions. A second problem is that, in classroom interaction, the complexity of the actual responses does not always match the complexity of the questions. Third, not only do reason and recall questions vary in level of difficulty but some recall questions may be more difficult to answer and require more complex thinking than some reason questions. The fourth and final problem is one of values: it is assumed that if questions are more difficult to answer, they are better. Examination of these problems suggests that not enough is known about teacher questioning to state with certainty that higher level questions are really better. (BW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Queen's Univ., Kingston (Ontario). Centre for the Study of Language Arts.