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ERIC Number: EJ818867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0286
Using Questioning to Stimulate Mathematical Thinking
Way, Jenni
Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v13 n3 p22-27 2008
Good questioning techniques have long been regarded as a fundamental tool of effective teachers and research has found that "differences in students' thinking and reasoning could be attributed to the type of questions that teachers asked" (Wood, 2002). Past research shows that 93% of teacher questions were "lower order" knowledge-based questions focusing on recall of facts. Research continues to show that teachers ask few questions that encourage children to use higher order thinking skills in mathematics (Sullivan & Clarke, 1990). Many primary teachers have already developed considerable skill in good questioning techniques in curriculum areas such as literacy and social studies, but do not transfer these skills to mathematics. Teachers' instincts often tell them that they should use investigational mathematics more often in their teaching, but they are sometimes disappointed with the outcomes when they try it. There are two common reasons for this. One is that the children are inexperienced in this approach, find it difficult to accept responsibility for the decision-making required, and need a lot of practice to develop organised or systematic approaches. The other reason is that the teachers have yet to develop a questioning style that guides, supports, and stimulates the children without removing the responsibility for problem-solving from the children. In this article, the author presents some approaches that can be used by teachers to scaffold children's mathematical investigations through utilising a hierarchy of questions. (Contains 1 figure and 2 tables.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A