The Skill of Questioning

Broad themes

It is clear that the main idea of the chapter is that questions are powerful tools and that the answer to a question can vary greatly depending on the questioning methods used.  The key themes of the chapter are the purpose of questions, types of questions, the effectiveness of different types of questions and the different contexts in which various types of questions may be used.

Claims and evidence

 The chapter emphasised that today’s school students do not answer questions in class due to the fear of their classmates reacting negatively. This was followed by a US Study that showed that as children grow older, they feel less comfortable to ask or answer questions within the classroom. I agree with the statement as since starting university I have personally found it very difficult to speak out loud in front of such a large group of people which makes it difficult for me to answer and ask questions whilst in lectures or workshops. However, I know that as a developing student teacher, this is something that I need to work on.

Analysis and evaluation

I disagree with asking children leading questions especially when a child discloses personal information about abuse to an adult. It is a adult’s responsibility to never ask a leading question or to put words into a child’s mouth but take only the information that a child has disclosed.

Knowledge and understanding

One theory mentioned within this paper is the “Funnel Sequence”. This is when a person is initially asked an open question allowing their response to have many possible answers. As the conversation goes on, it gradually progresses to closed questions being asked meaning the question should then have only one real answer. This method of questioning looks like a funnel as it starts off wide with open questions and then the questions gradually become narrower.

Chapter five, ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.