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12 - Teaching and Learning by Questioning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2020

Lucas Payne Butler
University of Maryland, College Park
Samuel Ronfard
University of Toronto Mississauga
Kathleen H. Corriveau
Boston University
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How can we encourage adolescents to ask the most effective questions? Several different lines of research design children’s and adolescents’ learning environments in ways that capitalize on self-initiated, largely self-directed question-asking and answer-seeking. We describe a number of studies indicating that such contexts yield effective outcomes for several different kinds of learning and across different populations. We discuss inquiry, and its importance for students developing a sense of agency and value in conducting their own inquiry and their learning more broadly. The role of argument, a context in which claims are expected to be justified by appeal to evidence, is highlighted as it can lead one to question a claim being made, and thus be seen as a driving factor to engaging in discourse about a claim. Finally, we stress that teachers must learn to cede control to an extent that allows students autonomy in choosing questions they find authentic and worthy of pursuit, and in letting students engage and address one another directly, allowing them to develop the norms of discourse that reinforce accountability to one another.

The Questioning Child
Insights from Psychology and Education
, pp. 232 - 251
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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