Assessment of primary school science teachers’ use of classroom questioning techniques in Shinyalu division, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fulgence Swai Saronga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Marriote Ngwaru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Assessing science teachers’ use of questioning techniques to both teach and assess learners is an essential tool for understanding the quality of teacher-pupil interactions. There is consensus among researchers on the importance of effective questioning. There are, however, limited studies in Kenya assessing the extent to which science teachers use questioning techniques for meaningful learning. To fill this knowledge gap, a descriptive survey with a sample of 193 science teachers was conducted in Shinyalu division. The purpose of the study was to assess the use of questioning techniques by primary school science teachers. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaire and classroom observation sheet. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Pearson correlation coefficient and regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between science teachers’ use of questioning techniques, their working experience and their schools’ level of academic performance. An independent samples t-test was conducted to assess the differences in the use of questioning techniques between teachers in academically low ranking and high ranking schools. Statistical analyses were done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Analysis of data from teachers’ self-reports found that they mostly ask probing and higher order questions, although no evidence for this was found from classroom observation data. On the contrary, classroom observation data clearly found that most science teachers rarely ask probing questions, predominantly ask low order thinking questions and do not provide adequate wait-time. Recommendations made include sensitization campaigns and both in-service and pre-service programs to increase science teachers’ understanding of questioning skills and usage of those skills in teaching. For further research, the study recommended more quantitative studies based on classroom observations of large samples to confirm the observed poor low wait time. Such studies should also focus on cause-effect relationships between wait time and individual learners’ cognitive skills.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library