John Spencer: 10 Ways to Help Students Ask Better Questions

One of the 4 elements of humane education is fostering curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking, so I was glad to come across a blog post by teacher John Spencer (we follow his blog, Spencer's Scratch Pad) that outlines how he helps his students ask better, deeper questions. Critical, thoughtful analysis and synthesis isn't something that happens a lot in today's dysfunctional education system, so insights like these from John are inspiring and illustrative, and very useful for humane educators and activists to consider when engaging with others. Here's his list of 10 ways he helps students ask better questions:
  1. Question Everything - Encouraging inquiry & thoughtfulness about everything
  2. Reading - Asking questions before, during & after
  3. Inquiry Days - Allowing students time to explore their own interests
  4. Feedback on Questions - Providing students with specific, clear feedback
  5. Model It - Demonstrating best practices
  6. Practice It - Practicing makes perfect
  7. Scaffolding - Offering students basics to build on
  8. Types of Questions - Teaching the strategies and uses
  9. Multiple Grouping Formats - Providing experience in a variety of situations
  10. Technology - Using tools familiar and useful to students

Read the complete post.

~ Marsha

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