Thoughtful Questions :
Effective ways to formulate questions that foster engagement and confidence. What does it mean to think? Some people would like to be able to think better, or, more usually, want other people's thinking to improve. But research shows that everyone is capable of thinking. The problem is to stop teachers from precluding the chance for it to happen. The right kind of questions opens the door to student's participation. The right questions focus the learner's attention upon applying their current understanding to the content or problem. The right questions are discoverable, that is, have follow-up avenues that a teacher can follow to lead a student to find an adequate answer using resources available (Socratic). Each success on one of these problems is a lesson to the learner that he or she knows how to think. (And each failure, a lesson in the opposite.) Note that none of these tutorial questions asks for recall of facts or information (didactic questions).
• Discoverable Tutorial Questions: These eleven question formulations meet the criteria of being both perceptually based and discoverable. The responses to these questions lie shared experience, so all learners, who may not at first answer acceptably, can be led back to available evidence to find adequate answers.
» Description: What did you see? What happened? What is the difference between....?
» Reflection: What was interesting? What was surprising?
» Analogy: What else does it remind you of? What else does it look like?
» Common Purpose: What is the purpose of.....? What is the usual function of.....?
» Procedures: How does one normally do......? How was this done? What is the normal (non- creative) next step?
» Possibilities: What else could .....? How could we......? If we didn't have, or couldn't use, ......,what could........?
» Prediction: What will happen next? What will you see? What will be the effect?
» Justification: How can you tell? What evidence led you to.....?
» Theorizing: Why is it that way? What is the reason for it?
» Generalization: What is the same about ....... and ......? What could you generalize from these events? What principle is operating?
» Definition: What does ...... mean? Define the word ...........
• Wait Time: After posing one of these tutorials, learners need at least 5 seconds in order to process it and begin the formulation of an answer.