Friday, 16 August 2013

Question Maps

Guest post from Natalie Sateri, humanities teacher at Cramlington Learning Village. An idea that enables the teacher to analyse their use of questioning in lessons by location, type and gender.

Questioning is one of the most important skills a teacher can hone in the classroom. Analysing who, where they/you are, and what you ask them can benefit your practice enormously.

As part of my NQT training an observation was carried out using IRIS video software with a focus on effective teaching behaviours. The lesson observed was a top set Year 9 humanities lesson discussing the moral arguments of abortion. The observation was then used during inset training, with fellow NQTs, to focus on questioning.


Whilst observing the video of the lesson, we created a map of my questioning which showed where the pupils were sat and where I was stood when asking questions. We also identified whether the pupil was a male of female to gauge whether there was any bias towards gender. We then created a tally chart of the number of open/closed questions I asked as well as the type of questions I asked using Bloom’s Taxonomy.


This process gave me detailed and precise feedback of my questioning technique from the tone of my voice to the distribution of questions. For example it allowed me to identify areas of the classroom that I questioned less than others; particularly useful when teaching in such large classrooms. By identifying the areas I questioned less often, I was able to rearrange my seating plan so that those pupils who were less confident during classroom discussion were not sat in areas I seemed to question less often. I was able to apply this arrangement to my other classes that I teach in that room. 

Whilst the analysis did show I question the majority of pupils in the class, it showed me that I often have the same pupils start the discussion and then “basket ball” the discussion to other pupils around the classroom. As a result of this I was then able to target my questioning to focus on those pupils who rarely started discussion. 


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