Good questioning techniques have long being regarded as a fundamental tool of effective teaching and learning. There is plenty of evidence that questioning and problem solving is probably the most important teaching tool.

Unfortunately, research shows that 93% of textbook questions are “lower order” knowledge based questions focusing on recall of facts (Daines, 1986). Clearly this is not the right type of questioning to stimulate the mathematical and scientific thinking that can arise from engagement in open problems and investigations.

Effective questioning:

Effective questioning helps students to develop thinking and learning at all cognitive levels. The superior questioning structures prompts and deepens student comprehension and stimulates their original thinking skills. Refer to the following sample question to understand the power of a “higher order problem” that clearly stimulates the “superior thinking skills” in children

Example

**Textbook style questioning** : Find the area and perimeter of a 3 x 8 rectangle

**Effective questioning**: If the area of a rectangle is 24cm² and the perimeter is 22cm, what are its dimensions?

Bloom’s Taxonomy as the basis for LiveOlympiad Mathematics & LiveOlympiad Science questions

Benjamin Bloom devised a way to categorise reasoning skills based on the amount of critical thinking and reasoning involved. With Bloom’s Taxonomy, there are six levels of skills ranked in order from the most basic to the most complex.

For example, developing understanding of “Prime Factors” may include following type of questions:

##### Remembering

- What is a factor?
- What is a prime number?

##### Understanding

- Why is 7 prime?

##### Applying

- What are the prime factors of 125? 81? 343?
- Can a prime number be a multiple of 4?

##### Analyzing

- How do you go about finding the prime factors of a given number?

##### Evaluating

- Can you think of a number that has one repeated prime factor? Or all different prime factors?
- Which numbers less than 100 have exactly three factors?
- What number up to 100 has the most factors?

##### Creating

- The sum of four even numbers is a multiple of four. When is this statement true? When is it false?