The article that will be reviewed is “Using Higher Order Questioning to Accelerate Students’ Growth in Reading”. The main thesis of the article is about how teachers today are changing their reading instructions among their students to reflect higher level talk, writing and questioning. Teachers are now realizing the value of encouraging students to engage in higher level talk in discussing reading materials in their classes. Teachers have observed that students are gaining reading achievements since their introduction of higher order questioning. As opposed to instructions based on lower level questions and teacher-directed method of teaching, higher order questioning encourages critical thinking among students.
Higher order questions posed by teachers focuses on the theme of the story, character interpretation and making connection to student lives. Teachers choose themes that are relevant to the students and those that they are familiar with and can relate with. Questions on character interpretation range from a comparison of the different characters in a story to asking the students if they know someone who resembles the characters. Students are sometimes asked whether they can identify with the characters of the story and why it is so. With these questions on hand, the students can make inferences and are able to comprehend the story better.
The third type of higher order questioning is that of relating the text to the lives of the students. When the students are able to connect with the events and characters of the story, they are in a better position to deepen their understanding of the text and they are persuaded to converse about it with other students. Their background knowledge enhances their understanding of the text.
The article also discusses how the teachers are able to change their method of instruction to promote higher order questioning. The authors point out that teachers support each other through trainings and meetings. Teachers of the same grade level make lesson plans together. They also meet with cross-grade level teachers where they watch video instructions together and reflect on that data they observe. Another essential part of the support from other teachers is the feedback system.
This article is very relevant and interesting. Since there is greater emphasis today on reading achievements among students, this topic is very timely. The key concepts were clearly identified and explained by the authors. With the use of examples and actual classroom conversations between teachers and students, the readers get a better grasp of the message being conveyed by the authors. The implications of higher order questioning to the students and teachers as well, are communicated to the readers.
One however has a major concern about higher order questioning, that is, the availability of teachers who are able to practice such teaching method. One thinks that there should be appropriate funding from government to support this teaching method. Funds should be allocated for the appropriate training and seminars which teachers should undergo in order to properly implement this method of teaching. Specialists on this type of teaching should be willing to share their expertise to various public or private schools to ensure its proper execution. Further research should also be done to validate the observations of teachers with regards to how higher order questioning benefit a student’s reading and comprehension ability.
Peterson, D. S., & Taylor, B. M. (2012). Using higher order questioning to accelerate students' growth in reading. The Reading Teacher, 295-304.