This blog is a review of chapter 5 of “Finding out about others: the skill of questioning”.
This chapter is centred around questioning, with its aim being to show different types of questioning done by professionals, including teachers, as well as an evaluation of each type. Some of the main themes seen throughout the reading were how we communicate through questions, what good types of questions to use in situations, and the bad types of questions to use in situations.
Hargie makes a claim that “Questions are at the heart of most interpersonal encounters” (Hargie, 2011). He uses evidence in the form of a quote by Waterman to back him up in this statement “Asking questions is a fundamental part of communication, and as such will be an important factor in the work of many professionals”. One theory/argument Hargie presented was the funnel sequence, in which you start by asking very open questions and gradually turn them into less open questions to be more specific.
While Hargie is mostly unbiased and I agree with most of what he says, I disagree with process questioning. While he believes they are suitable for older pupils, not younger pupils, I do believe younger pupils can use them as well. In order to do this, we would have to prepare them, get them used to it and give them time, but there’s no reason why they cannot do it.
One theory I have put in my own words is the tunnel sequence theory. Within this, the person consistently asks questions of the same degree of openness to obtain information. Lawyers typically use this in order to get predetermined answers.
You can find this chapter here: ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.