Questioning is the backbone of the learning process. Other strategies, such as modelling and explaining, are effective inside the classroom, but questioning is the most important for many reasons. These reasons include testing what pupils have learned, their experience and knowledge, playing an important part in stimulating pupils thinking skills, solving problems and being used as a plenary or starter for lessons. Moreover, it helps to promote thinking and give the pupils the chance to explore, and speculate; by it the teachers can examine the other strategies mentioned above and questioning is complementary for these approaches – it can test the quality of using these methods, whether they were effective and achieved the outcomes, or not. Questioning is the cornerstone, without it the other strategies do not work.
Firstly, the questioning is a strategy can be followed in classrooms for enormous reasons it depends on asking questions and discussion between the teacher and his pupils. “Questioning is an immediate way for teacher to assess pupils level of understanding”. (Active questioning, handout (2004)).Questioning is very important in teaching generally and for science specially. Through it promoting of thinking can happen, engage all pupils in the class, the good communication and interaction between the groups, using as warm-up and feedback of the lessons. For science, especially because teaching science relies on enquiry, observations and experiments so questioning is an essential in which pupils can explore, stimulate their understanding. In addition, help them to be analytical, evaluative. Besides that questioning allows the pupils to try solving problems and discover why the nature phenomena occurs .Moreover pupils can pay attention and give opportunity for active engagement. Through questioning in science, the pupils will be thinkers, but on the other hand should be concentrated on promoting the higher thinking skills of pupils by questioning. (Active questioning, handout, (2004)).
Secondly, the questioning has different types because this variety comes from the nature of subject that students learn, the stage of pupils, and the efficiency of the teacher himself. Therefore, there are many sorts of questions such as, the conceptual questions concern with ideas, definitions. Take an example, when the teacher asks. what do you call the animals that have feather? The answers should help pupils to formulate or clarify the relevant concepts. The second one is empirical questions this make communications between facts and observations through it pupils can speculate, observe and recall. The third one is value questions concern with the value issue such as questions, which related to health, environment, poverty and education .Another essential point is the dimensions of questions, which related to the type of question. This means the conceptual question may be narrow or broad. (Wragg & Brown (2001)) divides these dimensions into four types, which are:
Narrow – broad
Confused – clear
Encouraging – threatening
firstly, the narrow-broad dimension that contains open -close questions the closed one require very short and specific answer , the open one allow the chance variety of answers and may be discussion challenge for pupils and extend understanding . (C.Wragg & G.Brown (2001)). However, should be born in mind that the close question not create or promote thinking so teachers should use the posting thinking question or posted question this study encourage the open one ,because it allows the pupils to be creative and promote the higher levels of thinking .”The art of teaching creative thinking is not to profess only the known, but to inspire curiosity and thinking by teasing out new thinking with unexpected questions”. (Bartel.M, (2004)). Therefore, the teacher should concentrate on the questions, which promote creative thinking .secondly, the observation -recall-thought dimension. This one is difficult to grasp because it related to children through learning and their growing the difficulty comes when they should link between the fresh observations against the previous experience that they already know. However, the recall of facts can happen without the fresh observations .in this kind of recall the teacher resorts to use it as a starter of the lesson. Whether, thought questions uses to connect the old experience and knowledge to build with the new one. This type of questioning is the most one which used in Egypt .