Context and implications document for: How to guide effective student questioning? A review of teacher guidance in primary education

Harry Stokhof, Bregje De Vries, Theo Bastiaens, Rob Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent decades, teachers, scholars and policy-makers have a growing interest in the potential of student questioning for learning and teaching. Research shows that stu- dent questioning elicits intrinsic motivation for learning, supports the development of cognitive and metacognitive skills and allows for differentiated and self- regulated learning (Chin & Osborne, 2008). Therefore, many countries have inte- grated inquiry-based pedagogy in domains such as science, literacy and numeracy (e.g. NCR, 2012). Unfortunately, student questioning remains rare in many class- rooms, in spite of its acclaimed benefits and the positive stance many teachers have towards it (Reinsvold & Cochran, 2012). Arguably, one of the main causes for its absence, is that teachers find it difficult to allow for student questioning while facing curricular pressures (Wells, 2001). Teachers seem to need support to align student questioning to curriculum objectives, or in other words, to guide effective student questioning. This review explores the literature on student questioning in primary education since the 1990s to identify emergent themes that might support teacher guidance of effective student questioning. The intended audiences for this article are policy-makers, teacher-educators, educational designers, scholars and, last but not least, teachers. The four emergent themes that were identified in this study might have various implications for these audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-165
JournalReview of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • effective student questioning

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