22 SES 13 A, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Higher education institutions are being challenged to move to a student-centered approach that promotes students’ agency and autonomy, as well as high levels of thinking skills (Pedrosa-de-Jesus, Lopes, Moreira, & Watts, 2012). Classroom questioning can be identified as a key factor in the response to this demand, transforming students in active learners rather than passive receivers of information (Whittaker, 2012). Questioning represents a noteworthy part of teaching and interaction (Chin, 2006) with significant impact in students’ cognitive engagement, depending on questioning patterns (e.g., questioning level and complexity of the questions) (Smart, & Marshall, 2013). Thus, questioning skills of teachers and students are of most relevance.
In different levels of schooling, almost all the studies emphasize the lack of higher-order questions and the predominance of factual or recall-type questions, as well as procedural questions. The concern lies on the weak stimulation of the higher cognitive processes of the students and of their critical reasoning skills.
Literature in this domain has highlighted the importance of teachers’ and students’ questioning, although the majority of the studies have been focused on teachers’ questioning, to the detriment of students-generated questions (Whittaker, 2012). Furthermore, the joint analysis of questioning practices of both the actors in the teaching and learning process has received limited attention, especially at university.
The current study tries to expand upon existing literature, examining simultaneously the use of questioning by the teacher and their students, analysing the match between teacher’s and students’ practices. Plus, there is a vast literature about questioning in specific domains such as science teaching, EFL teaching or nursing education, but less attention has been given to human and social sciences area, such as law. This paper analyses the ways a university teacher and their first-year students use questions during lectures and practical lessons, in a law undergraduate degree.
Albergaria-Almeida, P. (2010). Questioning patterns and teaching strategies in secondary education. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 751–756. Anderson, L.W. (Ed.), Krathwohl, D.R. (Ed.), Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M.C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Complete edition). New York: Longman. Chin, C. (2006). Classroom interaction in science: Teacher questioning and feedback to students' responses. International Journal of Science Education, 28(11), 1315-1346. Pedrosa-de-Jesus, H., Lopes, B. S., Moreira, A., & Watts, M. (2012). Contexts for questioning: Two zones of teaching and learning in undergraduate science. Higher Education, 64, 557–571. DOI 10.1007/s10734-012-9512-9 Smart, J. B., & Marshall, J. C. (2013). Interactions between classroom discourse, teacher questioning, and student cognitive engagement in middle school science. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 24, 249–267. DOI 10.1007/s10972-012-9297-9 Whittaker, A. (2012). Should we be encouraging pupils to ask more questions?. Educational Studies, 38(5), 587-591.
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