Developing Thinking Skills
Indicator 27 - Higher Order Questions UETS 2d., 3b., 3c., 4a., 4c., 7d., 7e., 7f.
Effective teachers ask higher-order questions to promote learning. These types of questions require students to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information instead of simply recalling facts. Higher-order questioning encourages greater student involvement in classroom activities and develops thinking skills.
- Use higher-order questions when you want students to:
- Compare and contrast
- Determine cause and effect
- Give evidence to support a hypothesis
- Systematize or analyze information
- Develop criteria to judge the merit of problems, solutions, products or ideas
- Support an opinion or judgment
- Integrate information into different contexts or generalize across contexts
- Effective teachers make sure students have enough background information to respond successfully to higher order questions. For example, if you ask students why the United States are a republic, be sure:
- To provide background historical, economic, social information.
- Establish a procedure by which students can research this information independently.
- Avoid "yes-no" questions that lead to guessing and eliminate the opportunity for teachers to ascertain whether students understand the material.
- Incorporate student responses into the discussion by making them part of a question:
- "Andrew, what do you think Sarah was suggesting when she said...?"
- Ask process-oriented questions by having students explain their opinions or answers.
- Provide wait time so all students have time to formulate answers, before calling on a student to respond.