Teacher questioning: effect on student communication in middle school algebra mathematics classrooms
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This study investigates the components within teacher questioning and how they affect communication within the mathematics classroom. Components examined are the type of question, the amount of wait time allowed, the use of follow-up questions, and the instructional setting. The three types of questions analyzed in this study were highorder, low-order, and follow-up questions. High-order questions are defined as questions which promote analysis, synthesis or evaluation of information versus low-order questions which only seek procedural or knowledge of basic recall of information. The third type of question, follow-up, is the second question asked of a student when the initial question is not answered or answered incorrectly. This study observed video of three teachers from three different adjacent school districts. Upon watching three lessons of each teacher and recording data, conclusions were made. All three teachers were found to use low-order questions at least 50% of the time during instruction. Wait time following high-order questions met the minimum three second time as suggested from previous researchers. Follow-up questions were found to occur more frequently after high-order questions, but followed similar trends as stated above related to the type of question asked. Instructional setting does differ in the types of questions asked with a small group setting more likely to elicit high-order questions than a whole group setting. The researcher concluded that high-order questions with a minimum of three seconds wait time in a small group setting encourage communication within the mathematics classroom.
Matthiesen, Elizabeth Aprilla (2003). Teacher questioning: effect on student communication in middle school algebra mathematics classrooms. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from