ERIC Number: ED333444
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Challenging Questions in the Literature Classroom. Report Series 5.3.
Many treatments of teacher questioning in reading and literature have defined teacher questioning as a cognitive process. Emanating from a reading comprehension perspective, this view of questioning argues that asking a variety of higher level questions will lead students from literal to more inferential levels of text understanding. Approaches to literature teaching based solely on taxonomies or reading levels, however, may not be entirely appropriate for explaining what happens when readers understand and interpret literary, as opposed to non-literary texts. From a sociolinguistic perspective, teachers' questions have also been envisioned as part of a social interaction, in which learning experiences evolve out of the mutual participation of teachers and students. This perspective can be somewhat limited, however, when it deals only with the surface dimensions of classroom interactions. In order to fully understand the dynamics of their questioning practices, teachers must learn to view them as part of a cultural event, where the very identities of each participant as student, teacher, learner, or interpreter are shaped and defined. In understanding the cognitive, social, and cultural dimensions of the questions they ask, teachers can not only begin to ask more challenging questions of their students, but also begin to challenge the underlying assumptions behind the questions they ask, as well as the very predominance of questioning as an instructional technique. (Fifty-four references are attached.) (PRA)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Elementary Secondary Education, English Instruction, Instructional Effectiveness, Learning Processes, Literature Appreciation, Questioning Techniques, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods
Literature Center, University of Albany Ed B-9, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12222.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Literature, Albany, NY.