Reading Assignment- Using Questioning in Teaching
-“Talking about Music: Better Questions? Better Discussions!” by Randall Everett Allsup & Marsha Baxter
-Appendix 2 of Songs in their Heads by Patricia Shehan Campbell
- Discuss your understanding of open, guided, and closed questions. For each type of question, give a brief definition and two examples questions (six in total) that you might have asked during your past three in-class peer teachings (e.g. coordinated movement, pattern movement, and song teaching).:
-These are questions that I can ask my students that are very much open to the students’ interpretations. These questions are very student centered and can elicit many different responses with great variety.
-What do we do in this piece?
-What do you think the composer was thinking about when writing this piece?
-These questions are also very student centered, but are very much guided by the teacher. In asking these questions I can focus the students’ attention on a specific idea or in a general direction, but they are still open ended enough that they require students to interpret what I am asking and really think about their response.
-What did you notice about lines one and three?
-What is similar/different between the second and third movements in this folk song?
-These are direct focused questions that I can ask students that focus on a very specific thing and merit just one correct response. These are not as student centered, but they are good to use intermittently with guided and open questions to get information across to the students.
-What word did I clap on?
-How many times did I say the word “pio” in that line?
- Discuss your understanding of analytical, judicial, and creative question frameworks. For each framework, give a brief definition and generate one question (three in total) that you might have asked in your song teaching from 9/22.:
-These questions deal with specifically factual information. I would ask students these types of questions when I want them to think about factual elements of the musical activity we are engaging in.
-Which two lines in this song that we are learning had the same movement and music?
-These questions deal more with the students’ opinions and interpretations of music or musical activities.
-Which movement did you like the best?
-I would use these questions to prompt the students to create something or to think about how to create something. These are good questions to ask when I want the students to take the knowledge they have developed from music they have experienced, and apply it to something they are going to create themselves.
-If you were going to make your own movements to this song, which of these movements would you use? What other movements would you use that we didn’t use today?
- According to the Allsup & Baxter as well as your based on your own developing thoughts about teaching, why would you want to use questioning in your teaching rather than only relying on direct instruction? How might questioning be problematic in your teaching?:
Questioning is incredibly important to teaching. They hold students accountable for the information they are learning, and they help keep the students engaged and actively thinking about the material. If we only lecture, it is very easy for students to become unengaged and los focus. When students are asked questions they must think about what they are learning to formulate a response. It also helps teachers assess the students. Asking questions often in class is an easy and effective way for use to formatively assess our students. This is not to say that asking questions in teaching does not pose specific challenges. Teaching through questions is actually rather difficult skill. We have to remember to provide the students with enough information to prepare them for the questions we are asking. We also have to know how to ask questions so that they are clear, but still provoke thought and higher level thinking in our students. Additionally, we can get answers that do not pertain at all to the topic in part from students who do not understand the question, and in part from students who are acting out. As such, questions can pose certain management challenges, so we, as teachers, need to know how to handle, and prevent, these situations as best as possible.
- How do the questions from Campbell’s “Appendix 2” Songs in their Heads relate to the question types and frameworks in the Allsup & Baxter reading? What types of questions does Campbell favor? Why do you think this is? Generate two additional questions that you would want to add to Campbell’s list in light of the Allsup & Baxter reading.:
She uses open, closed, and guided questions, and as the Allsup and Baxter article mentions, she is very good at alternating these and using them in combination to help keep the conversation interesting to keep the students engaged. Most of her questions are analytical and judicial. I would say that she favors open questions to get the students to really think for themselves and develop their own unique answers. I also think she favors the judicial framework in this particular set of questions because she is trying to get information on what these students are interested in and what their backgrounds are.
*Two other questions:
-Do you like singing or playing instruments better?
-What are those songs usually about? (as a follow up question to the music they like to listen to)