Our last faculty conference focused on the types of questions we should ask, questions that encourage high level thinking. It got me thinking about the types of questions I use in class and whether my questioning technique did this. I was disappointed in myself when I realized how many of my questions fell short of this goal. How and what are the words I say the most. I do ask quite a few why questions was pretty sure that these were good ones. When I start something new, and see a grimace, I ask what they don't like about the problem? Then I ask how we can get rid of that problem? I follow up with a why does that help? Truthfully, while I always did well in math, I never did great until I started understanding the why and have incorporated this word into every lesson thinking knowing why would help increase my students understanding of material.
The above sentence was included in our departmental memo, the one that came right after the conference. I never studied Bloom's Taxonomy, but I thought my questions were good. I've been trying to work some of the higher level questions into my lessons but I won't do it at the expense of why. That one word, why, as far as I am concerned, is the key to understanding.