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ERIC Number: EJ936581
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Student-Generated Questions in Mathematics Teaching
Foster, Colin
Mathematics Teacher, v105 n1 p26-31 Aug 2011
Too often the discourse of the mathematics classroom is defined as the teacher asking the questions and the students answering them--or trying to. Certainly teachers should not be prohibited from asking questions, but if students are always placed in the position of responding rather than initiating, then one can hardly be surprised if at times they seem passive and flounder when given open-ended tasks. Questioning techniques continue to be a popular topic for mathematics in-service teacher training, and this approach is no doubt helpful. But students also need to develop their ability to ask mathematical questions. The questions students choose to pose give insight into what they know and what they see as mathematically significant and so can be a useful indicator to the teacher of students' progress. More important, mathematics is inherently an inquisitive discipline. The subject develops because as soon as a mathematician has answered one question, he or she is very likely to think of others. Without questions, there would be no mathematics, and unless students learn to ask questions, they cannot operate as mathematicians. In this article, the author provides an example of a possible starting point, together with some questions generated by students. (Contains 6 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A