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4 Reasons for using Inquiry Questioning (in your Instruction)


1. The students in your classroom will take “ownership” of content.

  • Research supports autonomous motivation leading to higher-quality learning and increased academic intention by students (Aelterman, De Naeghel, Haerens, Van Keer, & Vansteenkiste, 2016) (Chatzisarantis, Hagger, Hardcastle, & Sultan, 2015). Additionally, this motivation is strengthened when the following needs are satisfied: “competence, relatedness and autonomy (Deci & Ryan, 2016).” Inquiry questioning helps stimulate this motivation.

   2. Inquiry Questioning “incorporates” higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  • Inquiry Questioning forces students to think beyond simple memorization of facts and allows them to research a topic that they find interesting. Practicing these skills during Inquiry Questioning (applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating) can then be applied to other activities in the classroom.

   3. Easy way to differentiate in your classroom.

  • A “one-size fits all” method of instruction has been proven not to work. Inquiry Questioning allows teachers to differentiate at an accelerated rate (compared to other methods) due to students working at their own pace and ability. “Because each project differs, students are not bogged down by following the same steps as their classmates. The entire class is learning, but it is truly differentiated (sampled from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/6574).”

   4. Inquiry questions “highlight” gaps within instruction.

  • As students delve into concepts, they will identify barriers and uncover gaps in the curriculum (Mueller, 2016). Teachers can take note of these gaps and help students develop solutions to these problems.

Works Cited

Aelterman, N., De Naeghel, J., Haerens, L., Van Keer, H., & Vansteenkiste, M. V. (2016). Promoting elementary school students' autonomous reading motivation: Effects of a teacher professional development workshop. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(3), 232-252.


Chatzisarantis, N. L., Hagger, M. S., Hardcastle, S. J., & Sultan, S. (2015). Perceived autonomy support and autonomous motivation toward mathematics activities in educational and out-of-school contexts is related to mathematics homework behavior and attainment. Contemporary Educational Psychology, (41), 111-123.


Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2016). Optimizing Students' Motivation in the Era of Testing and Pressure: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective. In E. L. Deci, & R. M. Ryan, Building Autonomous Learners (pp. 9-29). Springer Singapore.


Mueller, R. G. (2016). Questioning as a Civic Act: An Examination of How Social Studies Teachers Define, Develop, and Cultivate Questions for Inquiry. Retrieved from University of Kentucky: UKnowledge: uknowledge.uky.edu/edsc_etds/9/

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