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Challenging Learning Through Questioning - Book Cover

Challenging Learning Through Questioning

Facilitating the Process of Effective Learning
By: Martin Renton

Foreword by James Nottingham

Exercises, activities, tools, and management strategies help fine-tune the three essential skills of questioning—intent, responses, and purposeful silence—to elicit noticeably improved responses from students.

Full description

Challenging Learning Through Questioning - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506376578
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Teaching Essentials
  • Year: 2020
  • Page Count: 224
  • Publication date: May 04, 2020

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Better questioning for better learning

Questioning is a process that sparks discussion and encourages deeper thinking. Effective questioning builds on students’ natural curiosity, moving them out of their comfort zone and into the learning zone in a purposeful, accessible way. It also models the process of good thinking and fosters a culture of high expectations.

Like any skill, questioning takes practice. With this insightful guide, you’ll reframe your thinking and fine-tune the three essential questioning skills—know your intent, plan your responses, and stay purposefully silent—to elicit noticeably improved responses from students. Features include

· Questioning sequences that work in any discipline

· Techniques for deepening learning through questioning

· Organizational strategies for pair, small-group, and whole-class dialogues

· Best practices for balancing questioning, thinking tools, and strategic silences

· Exercises, activities, and review and reflection sections

High-quality questioning supports a culture in which students are not only challenged, but expect to be challenged, and where they flourish intellectually. Through your questioning, you’ll give them the tools they need to become thoughtful, confident, and independent learners.

Key features

This book provides educators with:

  • Sample questioning scripts
  • Templates to plan for effective instruction
  • Questioning prompts to use in any discipline, with any grade level


Martin Renton photo

Martin Renton

Martin Renton is Challenging Learning's Director of Consultancy and Evaluations. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, leader, facilitator and coach.

Martin’s excellent reputation is well earned. His core belief that professional development is not a ‘quick fix’ but a deep process of change has led to some very powerful effects in schools and colleges around the world. Teachers and leaders who have worked with Martin over an extended period of time refer to increased engagement, motivation and progress for all students.

Martin ensures that all our Challenging Learning trainers blend theories of learning with active tools for the classroom, giving teachers and leaders the opportunities to put into practice new skills and approaches. The effect can be seen most dramatically in our long-term projects around the world. The most significant of these are in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Martin’s knowledge of pedagogy and leadership is borne out of his experiences in schools and colleges as a teacher, leader, consultant and coach. His early experiences as a nanny (2-9 year olds), then as a teacher and leader in middle schools (9-13 year olds), secondary schools (11-18 year olds) and colleges (16+) have given him a comprehensive insight into how people learn from the age of 2–adulthood. Martin uses these insights to challenge, inspire and engage his audiences.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

The Challenging Learning Story

Foreword by James Nottingham



About the Author

The Language of Learning


Part I: How to Question

Chapter 1: Questioning Essentials

1.0 The Three Essential Skills

1.1 Know Your Intent

1.2 Identifying Your Intent

1.3 Plan Your Responses

1.4 Stay Silent (and Listen)

1.5 Review

1.6 Reflection

Chapter 2: The Basic Questioning Sequence

2.0 The IRE Pattern

2.1 IRE as Closed Questioning

2.2 Problems in IRE

2.3 Rethinking the E

2.4 Using the Explore Step to Focus on Process

2.5 Challenge and the I-R-Explore Pattern

2.6 Questioning as Feedback

2.7 Review

2.8 Reflection

Chapter 3: Questioning Tools: Planning Effective Sequences

3.0 The Starting Point: Initiate—Where Questions Are Born

3.1 A Reflection Section

3.2 Your Options After the First Response: Planning With a Flow Chart

3.3 Planning to Explore: Stick With It!

3.4 Planning Questioning Sequences: The Funnelling Technique

3.5 Using the Funnelling Technique to Plan Longer Sequences

3.6 So Why Don't We Explore More?

3.7 Prompted to Explore!

3.8 Review

3.9 Reflection

Chapter 4: Questioning Flow

4.0 Pause and Paraphrase to Improve Flow

4.1 A Reflection Section

4.2 Paraphrasing

4.3 Getting in Flow

4.4 It’s Not About Giving Up Control!

4.5 Managing Questioning Sequences in Whole-Class Dialogues: Get the IDEAR!

4.6 Questioning Moves in the IDEAR Framework

4.7 A Questioning Example in the IDEAR Framework

4.8 Impact of the IDEAR Framework

4.9 Review

4.10 Reflection

Chapter 5: Stay Silent (and Listen)

5.0 Less Time to Process Means Less Impact

5.1 Wait-Time

5.2 Think-Time

5.3 Think-Pair-Share

5.4 Don’t Forget Think-Time 2!

5.5 A Taxonomy of Classroom Silences

5.6 The Skilful Use of Silences in Effective Questioning Sequences

5.7 Review

5.8 Reflection

Part II: Questioning and Challenge

Chapter 6: Thinking About Challenge

6.0 The Benefit of Struggle

6.1 How to Think About Challenge in Learning

6.2 Questioning to Encourage and Support Struggle

6.3 Know Your Intent: Get Into the Learning Zone!

6.4 The Learning Pit

6.5 The Learning Challenge Stages

6.6 Review

6.7 Reflection

Chapter 7: Questioning Activities to Challenge Thinking

7.0 Ranking Exercises

7.1 Diamond Nine

7.2 Extending Thinking With The Intention to Challenge

7.3 Your Role During the Groupwork Stage

7.4 Varying the Groupwork to Share Perceptions

7.5 Example Diamond Nine Cards for Different Age Groups

7.6 Other Shapes for Ranking

7.7 Review

7.8 Reflection

Chapter 8: Questioning for Challenge

8.0 Getting Into the Pit!

8.1 Intention to Challenge 1: The Counter-Example

8.2 Intention to Challenge 2: Comparisons

8.3 Intention to Challenge 3: Challenge Assumptions

8.4 Intention to Challenge 4: Define Extent

8.5 Advanced Questioning Techniques for Increasing Challenge

8.6 The Role of the Questioner: Teacher Stances When Questioning for Challenge

8.7 Time to Think When Questioning for Challenge

8.8 Review

8.9 Reflection

Part III: Students and Questioning

Chapter 9: Students Learning to Ask Questions

9.0 Question Stems

9.1 The Question Constructor

9.2 5 Ws (and an H!)

9.3 Inference Squares

9.4 Students Classifying Their Own Questions for Inquiry

9.5 Review

9.6 Reflection

Example Questioning Scripts

Final Reflections

10 Top Tips for Questioning





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

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