There was a time when the teacher used to be the center of attraction in class. This was part of traditional teaching. But now that things have changed, students are the center of attraction. Gone are the days when teachers used to ask questions. These days, there is a reversal of roles. Students ask questions and teachers are the ones answering them.
So, why is it important to ask questions? When a student asks questions, that shows their interest in the subject. Most of the time they ask academic questions that help them in understanding the concept better. Besides, this encourages students to learn things other than the ones that are prescribed in the textbooks.
Now that we know students are keen to grasp subjects, how do we encourage them to turn these questions into group discussions?
Following are some of the ways to facilitate students to discuss their questions:
- An ample amount of time should be given to students.
- Wait before rejecting the idea of students. As teachers and elders, we need to control our temptation to finish the question or answer the question before they finish it. By doing so, we are assuring them their doubts are equally important and the questions and ideas they come up with can be executed or addressed.
- Showing interest in their queries. This is where our body language plays a crucial role. A head nod, eye contact and not interrupting them makes them feel important. This is also a way of teaching them how important it is to be an active listener.
What are the other ways to motivate students to ask more questions?
- Asking as many questions as possible. This will ensure they think about the concepts.
- Instead of giving examples, asking them to find examples. This way, they will get a chance to relate the concepts with everyday examples.
- Introducing students to Bloom’s taxonomy. Remember, Analyze, Understand, Evaluate, Apply and Create. These six pointers will change a student’s approach towards any question or towards any concept.
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