The enhancement of primary students’ participation in science through teacher’s questioning

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Teachers' questioning is an integral part of the teaching-learning process. It is an extensively researched topic due to its heavy influence on students' learning and participation, in all disciplines. Most of the researchers have focused on identifying the relationship between teachers' questioning and students' outcomes i.e. learning. Moreover, most of the studies in the area of teacher's questioning have been undertaken in the Western world. This research has adopted some aspects of questioning techniques from the literature and implemented them in one of the government schools in Pakistan. The present practice of teaching science in most of the schools in Pakistan is mostly teacher- centered, where teachers merely transmit factual knowledge to students. The students' active participation in the class is not taken into account in the teaching and learning process. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between teacher's questioning as a teaching strategy and enhancement of students' participation in science classroom. The study was conducted in three stages; a pre-intervention stage showed the teacher's existing questioning practices in science classroom, an intervention stage which introduced a variety of questioning techniques and a post-intervention which identified the impact of the innovation on students' participation. The findings indicated that teacher's questioning does play a significant role in making the class more interactive. Further, the findings revealed that questioning, if effectively used, not only enhanced teacher-student interaction, but also improved student-student interaction. Moreover, lesson-planning, variety of strategies to ask questions and teacher's way of handling students' responses have paramount importance in implementing questioning as a teaching strategy. In addition, several facilitating factors (e.g. language used, conducive learning environment, students' innate curiosity) have been identified successful in implementing the strategy. The findings also showed that teachers' science content knowledge plays an important role in implementing questioning as an effective teaching strategy. It was also found that wait time (Rowe 1969) is an important learning variable in questioning. It increased the length of students' responses, increased the number of questions asked by students and encouraged the shy and quiet students to open up and participate more fully in the learning process. The general conclusion from the study findings strongly supported that teachers' questioning strategies enhance students' active participation, raise the level of interest in science and contribute to greater students' understanding.

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