Encouraging Mathematical Thinking


 Abstract
 Introduction

 Discourse
 Interventions
  - Approaches
  - Leading Q's
  - Non-leading Q's
  - Paraphrasing
  - Summarizing
  - Listening
 Decisions

 Cylinder Problem
 Lesson Reflections
 Student Predictions

 Project Reflections
 Conclusion

 References
 Acknowledgments
 Teacher Resources



Authors'
Biographies

Table of Contents


VIDEO CLIPS: Internet access via modem may mean very long download times for video clips. If you are not on a fast line, you may want to read this paper without viewing the clips.



Join our discussion.
share your thoughts, ideas, questions, and experiences; read what others have to say.
 
Interventions: Non-leading Questions



On direct examination, a lawyer is not allowed ask a witness a leading question because the court wants testimony to come directly from the witness, not from a lawyer through his questions. Likewise, in the classroom the goal is for the student to do the thinking. Non-leading questions leave the field completely open and invite student participation in the conversation. They put the responsibility for thinking clearly in the hands of the students.

We think that context determines whether a question is non-leading. Our emphasis is on facilitating student thinking, rather than simply extracting information. When John McKinstry's students bring up the concept of circumference, John follows up with what, in this context, is a non-leading question: "Why is circumference important?"

  [view clip]


More typically, non-leading questions look like these:

    "How did you get it?"
    "What are you thinking?"
    "Why are you asking that question?"
    "Can you explain why you did it this way?"
    "Why does this work?"

BACK         NEXT

   


_____________________________________
Table of Contents || Authors' Biographies || Bridging Research And Practice || The Math Forum
_____________________________________

© 1994-2004 The Math Forum
Please direct inquiries to Roya Salehi.