Wise men in the past have always asked us not to accept anything without questioning. The reason being, that when we question something, we will know how much we know about the subject or topic under discussion. This will propel the degree of understanding.
Therefore, if a teacher was to know how much his/her students have understood, then asking questions to the class would help. Asking just about any question will not do, there has to be a set of question that needs to be asked in order to make the students think deeper.
Here are the most important questions teachers should ask their students:
1) What are your views on the topic/subject?
"What" is the most basic and most important type of question to ask. It asks for the basic knowledge about the subject under consideration. This question encourages students to think and bring up their views or take on the subject, hence, helping them realise how much they know.
2) Why do you think this is right/wrong?
"Why" is the type of question that enables students to go deeper into understanding. This type of question helps them justify as to why they think their answer must be correct, or why they think a certain point mentioned is right or wrong.
3) How can you be sure about what you say?
"How" is the type of question that enables students to gather references to support their claim or answer. It helps them be sure of what they know, because of the supporting elements that they can think of when this type of question is asked.
4) Is there any thing else that you would like to share?
This question encourages students to share the extra knowledge that they know, which the others might not be aware of in the classroom. Additionally, the tone of the question is polite and hence even those students who are timid, will be able to answer if they know more about the subject that is discussed.
5) Does anybody want me to help them clear their doubts?
This is very different from asking the traditional "Did you understand?" or " Do you have doubts?" or "Am I clear?" questions. The very tone in these questions are "teacher-like", which would not encourage most of the students to go ahead with asking a doubt. On the contrary, "Does anybody want me to help them clear their doubts?" is one such questions that will make students feel that the teacher is not there just to finish up the portions, but to help them understand. Adding a "Please go ahead and ask me" , would add the comfort level the students seek from teachers while they are being taught.
Hence, one can see that even will the way a question is asked and the types of questions asked, a teacher can change the degree of understanding. This is what we had to say, please share your views here: https://www.facebook.com/careerindia.com