1. Student-Driven Questions

Well-thought-out questions can open minds, facilitate cognitive dissonance, and encourage critical thinking. This leads to deeper learning.

2. Model Good Questioning

  • Teacher questions outnumber student questions by 96%.
  • Ask open-ended questions that have multiple answers and be open to all responses.
  • Adapt your teaching style if students are struggling

3. Encourage a Culture of Curiosity

  • Cicero says curiosity is “a love of knowledge without the lure of profit.”
  • Look for critical learning moments where student curiosity intersects with teaching. 
  • Look for critical learning moments where student curiosity intersects with teaching. 

4. Create a Safe Environment for Asking Questions

  • Create a safe environment in your classroom where asking questions are a strength, welcomed, and desired.
  • If students are struggling to ask questions in front of the whole class, divide them into small groups to come up with a list of questions to ask as a group.
  • Another great way to encourage questions is through debates.

5. Encourage Students to Unpack Questions

Grow questions off of other questions and see where the conversation will go. You can also build questions based off of other questions asked in class. 

6. Make it Rewarding

Praise and celebrate student questions – no matter what the question may be. 

Sometimes the craziest and most offbeat questions can lead to the best discussions.

7. Question the Questions

Praise and celebrate student questions – no matter what the question may be. 

Sometimes the craziest and most offbeat questions can lead to the best discussions.

RCTLE Teaching Tip

Make a question box – If students are struggling to ask questions in class, make a question box where they can ask questions anonymously.  This can help students become more comfortable with asking questions in class. 

MISSION

The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.

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