Questioning, Thinking & Creativity With Dr. Salmon & Maria Ximena Barrera From Florida International University

Results published in a prestigious Research Journal.

Questioning is an important cognitive activity that enhances teaching and learning. The quality of the questions that teachers ask plays an important role in promoting or hindering students’ curiosity, thinking, and, consequently, their learning. Asking good questions is an art that requires the teacher’s creative intervention to facilitate learning. Questions create zones of proximal development when teachers are able to grasp their students’ prior knowledge, thinking, and inquiries to scaffold them to the next level. Moreover, effective questioning in teaching marks the difference between being a facilitator of learning opportunities or a consumer of someone else’s ideas. This study reports on a participatory action research project of a learning community of practice in a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool where the teacher and research team found a way to implement an intentional teaching through questioning. By using documentation to reflect on the questions that the teacher formulated, the teacher became more thoughtful about her questions and learned how to formulate better questions. Furthermore, Harvard Project Zero’s Teaching for Understanding and Visible Thinking frameworks helped the teacher develop a better understanding of fostering an emergent curriculum within the Reggio Emilia philosophy. The experience helped the school build a strong identity and empower teachers to master their teaching with high-quality questions.

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