Are We There Yet?

Questions for Higher Order Thinking in the Gifted Classroom

Are we there yet questions for higher order thinking?Kids love to ask questions.

Have you ever been on a road trip with a child between the ages of 2 and 18?

Then you’ll recognize, “Are we there yet?”

It’s probably one of the most dreaded questions to come from a child’s lips.

Some questions drive us crazy.

I remember road trips with my own kids where I actually prayed the questions would JUST STOP!

But here’s the problem… When questioning ceases, learning stops.

The problem isn’t that children ask too many questions, it’s that they’re asking the wrong ones.

Peter Drucker, management consultant and university professor, once said, “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.” If that’s true, then teaching students to ask the right questions should be a priority in every classroom.

In “Questions for Higher Order Thinking”, Joyce Juntune, Ph.D., debunks the myth of answer-based teaching and presents practical strategies for teaching and modeling great questions for the students in your gifted classroom.

Dr. Juntune is a renowned consultant, trainer, professor, and lecturer with more than 45 years of experience in the field of education. She is an instructional associate professor at Texas A&M University, and she teaches graduate-level courses in her expert areas of intelligence, child and adolescent development, educational psychology, giftedness, and creativity.

In Education, Sometimes We Like to Believe it’s About the Answers… But it’s not!

Answer-focused education stifles creativity and critical thinking in students, yet most lesson plans are answer-focused.

“It isn’t how many answers you know, it’s what questions you still have that drives us along the way,” explains Dr. Juntune.

Quizzical thinking is best taught by teachers modeling questioning, in addition to providing examples. Questions have the capacity to do all kinds of things that can’t be done by just teaching students an answer. Questions can provide…

  • The “Hook” that draws students into a topic
  • Unique learning and instruction opportunities
  • Assessment

Students in the top 25% of their class have perfected the art of the multiple choice test.

Multiple choice answer questionsMost gifted students know how to pass a multiple-choice test without even studying.

Asking the question isn’t enough.

We need to train our students to both ask and answer high-level questions.

Do an exercise with your students where they are scored based on the complexity of the questions they ask, suggests Dr. Juntune. The more difficult a question is to answer, the more points a student receives.

Questions exist on a continuum:

From Simple > To Complex
From Concrete > To Abstract
From Reproductive > To Productive

Gifted students have higher cognitive development than their peers. That means they have the ability to understand and respond to complex, abstract, productive questions.

“If I were a cup, what would I look like and how would I be used?”

Questions for Higher Order Thinking in the Gifted ClassroomOver the course of three, 1-hour modules, you will learn the four essential types of questions:

  • Person focused
  • Analysis/descriptive
  • Creative
  • Inquisitive/curious

This innovative method goes far beyond the typical who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Questions for higher order thinking force students to produce creative and innovative answers.

Repetition of a simple question can be frustrating and annoying. But complex examining can stimulate the imagination and open a new world.

Are you ready to teach your students to ask better questions?

Oh, wait!

That isn’t modeling questions for higher order thinking 😉

Let’s try that again…

Imagine you’re a teacher who models higher order questioning. What questions would you ask to challenge your student toward higher order thinking? If you’re struggling to think of some, this course is for you!

If you would like access Questions for Higher Order Thinking by Joyce Juntune, Ph.D., click here to go the course page, or call 915.532.9965 if you prefer to speak to someone.  You can also try the course FREE by taking the free trial for gifted education teachers!

Mobile ready professional development for gifted teachersDelivering Quality Training – No Matter Where You Are

Did you know that this course is mobile ready? That means you can complete the course on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or any other mobile device!

Photos courtesy of Flickr via left-hand, Clarkston SCAMP, albertogp123, & e-magic