About
Cascade Matters is the blog of Cascade Educational Consultants. Cascade has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations and civic development. We are committed to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens. Learn more about us.

Cascade Educational Consultants is an educational consulting firm committed to high-quality equitable teaching, learning and serving environments for all students to succeed in school and in life. Click here to learn more about our services...




twitter-icon
Follow Cascade on Twitter!






Questions

questions
One way we measure students’ knowledge and skills is to ask them questions. Tests, reports, presentations and reflections are common ways we encourage students to answer questions to assess their knowledge and abilities.

Are we asking the right questions? Most questions we ask have a right or wrong answer; but what if we asked questions that had multiple correct answers. For example, what if we asked students in a social studies class to identify ways that people learn their civic responsibilities. That question has several correct answers including (1) reviewing and memorizing the various civic responsibilities expected of each citizen; (2) engaging in civic work that builds civic responsibilities; and (3) reading historical resources that identify civic responsibilities.

Are we asking students to assist in the development of questions? Of course, teachers understand course content on a different level than students, but providing an opportunity for students to co-develop the sets of questions for assessment is effective in several ways: (1) ensuring the questions are relevant to students, (2) relieving the teacher of obligation to create all questions, (3) demonstrating a trusting and collaborative environment and (4) demonstrating to students the challenge to create quality effective questions to assess content knowledge and skills.

Are we providing a safe environment where questions can be asked and student are not threatened? As we encourage students to raise questions, we must also ensure they feel safe to do so by creating a classroom and school environments that support inquiry and eliminate shame or embarrassment. Students are curious about course content and its relevance to their experiences, now and in the future, we can provide safe opportunities for them to express their thinking and accept every inquiry as important, interesting and relevant.

As we consider and answer these three questions we will find that questions provide prompts for students to think deeply about course content and experience a more comforting context in which to gain and enhance knowledge and skills.



About the author: Terry Pickeral, president Cascade Educational Consultants has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
See Older Posts...
© 2009-15 Cascade Educational Consultants | Phone: (360) 303-7480 Contact Me