A couple years ago, I compiled this: a collection called "Socrates Questions":
Last year I compiled a second collection, called "Critical Thinking Questions":
Anyone / everyone is welcome to these handouts, to use as they see fit.
THE BASIC TECHNIQUE
Students / participants are prompted to use these during in-class / in-session small group discussions and activities.
Each small group is prompted to appoint a Scribe (the note taker), and a Socrates (the question asker). While all group members are encouraged to use the questions during each small group discussion, "Socrates" is specifically responsible for interjecting the questions when others' use tapers off, and also for explaining to the rest of us, later on, during group "reports" (when each group reports the results of their activity to the whole class), which questions were most helpful, and why.
- I tell them that the first couple times they use these in their group discussions, it will feel awkward, and they should just go with that. They'll quickly become used to it. And they do. They quickly start using them on me! All in good fun.
- I also encourage them to use these in discussions with friends and family, and report back the results. That's always interesting. And rewarding! Many of my students report using these with great effect on their teenagers.
Your thoughts? How do you help students develop question asking in your courses? Do you also take this to be a priority in your Gen Ed courses? Why or why not? Do you use similar techniques? If not, can you imagine doing so? Why or why not? What advice, suggestions, questions, do you have about the technique and tools as they are illustrated above?
P.S. A handful of more or less related posts on this blog, which I found by searching "Question Asking" (forgive me if there are others, that's the only search I performed):
- How Socrates helped me beat my aversion to cold calling
- Tips for Starting Grad Instructors
- Does Philosophy Provide Any Answers
- ‘On Course’, Part 5: In the Classroom: Discussions
- But I Want to Save the World Now
- Not For Profit Episode 8: Don't Be Complacent
- A frustration: Evaluating reasoning vs. evaluating premises