Independent Study Task: The Skill of Questioning

The main aim of Chapter 5 :‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ is to have a deeper insight into the types of questions we can ask, how we ask questions, e.g. with or without a pause, and how we respond to questions.

A few key themes within this chapter are:
– What a question is and why it is important
– Different types of questions
– The structuring of questions

A theory in this chapter that I found quite interesting in particular was the “Tunnel Sequence”, or sometimes known as a “string of beads” (Stewart and Cash, 2008). This is a type of questioning that would be very useful in an interview as the questions being asked are closed and makes it easier for the interview panel to compare several candidates’ answers as they are all responding to the same questions.

One claim I read in this chapter was from a US study: pupils will not answer questions in class because their are afraid that their fellow peers will not respond well to their responses. I agree with this claim as pupils do not want to be told that their answers are incorrect or they do not understand the context of the question in front of the class.

I did not know what the word “presuppositions” meant. A definition was provided in the chapter: “silent implications or taken for granted references” within questions. (Fiedler, 2007:15). In other words, it means to assume something beforehand.

Overall, this chapter has brought to my attention the importance of using different types of questions when communicating with pupils instead of asking only closed questions to receive one answer from them. Open questions will allow pupils to give an elaborate and detailed response.

Reference: Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

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