Effective questioning techniques

Skilful questioning is a key feature of high-quality teaching. Use these strategies to identify strengths and weaknesses in your own provision.

Last reviewed on 28 September 2022
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  1. Plan your questions carefully in advance
  2. Ask lower-level questions before higher-order ones
  3. Use both closed and open questions
  4. Adjust your wait-time for different types of questions
  5. Involve all pupils
  6. Try a different approach
  7. Further strategies for effective questioning
  8. Use CPD Toolkit to deliver staff training on questioning

The guidance in the first 2 sections below comes from teacher Andy McHugh in his guest article for Sec Ed on effective classroom questioning strategies.

Plan your questions carefully in advance

Start by deciding what your pupils need to know by the end of a topic and what skills you want them to be able to demonstrate.

For example, if you're teaching about landscapes in art, your pupils will need to know about colour theory, painting techniques and using different tools. 

Choose questions that will build on the knowledge they learn and the skills they develop in response to the previous question, e.g. 'what colours do we usually see in a landscape painting?', 'how do we get the colour green?' and 'is green a primary colour?'. 

For a more comprehensive example, see Andy's series of questions on religious experience in the article linked above.

Start with questions that

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