Matthiesen, Elizabeth Aprilla (2003-05). Teacher questioning: effect on student communication in middle school algebra mathematics classrooms. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • This study investigates the components within teacher questioning and how they
    affect communication within the mathematics classroom. Components examined are the
    type of question, the amount of wait time allowed, the use of follow-up questions, and
    the instructional setting. The three types of questions analyzed in this study were highorder,
    low-order, and follow-up questions. High-order questions are defined as questions
    which promote analysis, synthesis or evaluation of information versus low-order
    questions which only seek procedural or knowledge of basic recall of information. The
    third type of question, follow-up, is the second question asked of a student when the
    initial question is not answered or answered incorrectly.
    This study observed video of three teachers from three different adjacent school
    districts. Upon watching three lessons of each teacher and recording data, conclusions
    were made. All three teachers were found to use low-order questions at least 50% of the
    time during instruction. Wait time following high-order questions met the minimum
    three second time as suggested from previous researchers. Follow-up questions were
    found to occur more frequently after high-order questions, but followed similar trends as
    stated above related to the type of question asked. Instructional setting does differ in the types of questions asked with a small group setting more likely to elicit high-order
    questions than a whole group setting. The researcher concluded that high-order questions
    with a minimum of three seconds wait time in a small group setting encourage
    communication within the mathematics classroom.

publication date

  • May 2003