Exploring current questioning practice in a mathematics classroom: A case of a public primary school in Uganda

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Geoff Tennant


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Questioning is a natural feature of communication and classroom questions arc recognized to be the primary vehicle of interaction. By learning how to use questions effectively in the classroom, teachers can accomplish a number of interrelated goals. Engaging learners in questioning dialogue transforms the usual flow of information iron teacher to pup1ls into more interactive processes; Learners become more active participants in their own learning. In addition, skillful questioning encourages pupils to engage in high level cognitive processes (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation), which enhances their capacity to think critically. This study therefore, sought to explore how Mathematics teachers use questioning to facilitate pupils' learning of Mathematics a primary school in Uganda. The study adopted a qualitative approach and the research participants were three teachers and eight pupils purposively selected from four classes. I gathered data through interviews, lesson observations and a focus group discussion. Findings of the study indicated that classroom questioning was teacher dominated. Teachers used a significant number of closed-ended display questions to engage pupils with content, encourage participation and increase understanding. The findings also indicate that though teachers tried to encourage learners in asking their own questions, most of the time learners would keep silent. The pedagogical implication of the findings is that the current use of questioning may not be effective in enhancing understanding of Mathematics concepts and development of Mathematical competences and skills. This may compromise pupils' attainment of numeracy competences which may lead to poor performance in Mathematics examinations. For a country like Uganda, aiming at using numeracy skills to achieve industrialization by 2040, it is unlikely that this will be attained if classroom questioning practice is not changed. Thus, it is imperative that teachers transform their questioning techniques to enhance learner's development of numeracy competences.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library