One aspect of being an effective science educator is knowing how to properly question students so that you can understand their reasoning. To demonstrate how I have grown in my ability to effectively question my students, I have attached three artifacts. I have attached two readings and an actual interview that I did with a student and then analyzed. These demonstrate what I have been reading and practicing in the field and how my techniques have improved over time.
The first article I included is about how to find out what your students are thinking.[i] This reading gives not only strategies for questioning but it also gives snippets of a mock interview sample complete with questions and student responses. I thought this was extremely helpful as I was preparing to conduct my own interview because it gave me some idea of what to expect and it helped me become more prepared to think on my feet and still be productive. I thought this was influential in my student interview success.
The next image I attached shows a page from Primary Science: Taking the Plunge, chapter 3, which is on productive questioning.[ii] This reading helped me to understand that the way you phrase a question can have different effects on the response and that asking specific questions can guide the behavior of the student. Examples of these productive questions range from attention focusing to comparison, each with it’s own purpose that guides the student to answer productively.
In my student interview I actually interviewed a first grade student using the tactics I learned from these two readings. Because it was my first time doing this, I mastered some of the techniques more than others. To capture where my strengths and weakness were the interview was recorded and transcribed. I then reviewed my own work and compared it to the theories on what good interviewing skills should look like. I think having to analyze my own teaching was one of the best ways I could grow in my ability to ask quality questions in science and so I am really glad I had that experience.
[i] Bell, B., Osborne, R., & Tasker, R. (1985). Finding out what children think. In R. Osborne and P. Freyberg, Learning in science: The implications of children’s ideas. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, pp. 151-165
[ii] Harlen, W., Elstgeest, J., & Jelly, S. (2001). Primary Science: Taking the Plunge. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann