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Title: An exploration of teachers' understanding of their questioning practices in science lessons in early primary teaching in Thailand
Authors: Cheewaviriyanon, Chalita
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Based on social constructivist perspectives (Rojas-Drummond and Mercer, 2003), teachers’ questioning may have a direct impact on children’s learning and the development of children’s thinking. Most research into teachers’ questioning has been conducted in Western countries. However, in-depth qualitative research on teachers’ questioning practices in science classrooms in early primary education in Thailand is under-researched. Understanding teachers’ questioning practices will contribute to the improvement of teaching practices and teacher training programmes. This study aimed to explore Thai early primary teachers’ understanding of their questioning practices in terms of questioning purposes, question types and strategies, and to explain the factors that influence those classroom practices, in the context of science teaching in Thailand. A qualitative case study approach within the interpretivist paradigm was employed. Data were mainly gathered in the form of video recordings of classroom interaction, through videomediated interviews and relevant documents, such as lesson plans. This study is based on teacher reflections on questioning in which teachers identified some questions that they had asked. Through an inductive analysis of the data using template analysis, the current study found that teachers reported asking questions for a range of purposes in science teaching. Eleven such purposes were identified: gaining attention, checking if pupils can recall information, checking prior knowledge, checking understanding, enhancing knowledge, integrating with other topic areas, encouraging observation, hypothesizing, experimenting, building understanding, and encouraging pupils’ thinking. The finding shows that purposes relevant to hypothesizing, experimenting, and building understanding had a considerately higher proportion of open questions than closed ones. Another important finding was that eight categories of questioning strategies were employed by teachers in the classroom. The most commonly reported questioning strategy was repeating. It can be concluded that teachers’ understanding of questioning was closely in line with the concept of scaffolding assistance. This is because teachers reported that some purposes in asking questions assisted learning and were linked to the questioning strategies used. This research contributes to existing knowledge by providing a conceptual model of Thai teachers’ questioning practice in the science classroom. The proposed model is based on social constructivist theory, which is comprised of the three major elements of questioning purposes, ii question types, and strategies, and three layers of influencing factors: teacher cognition, cultural factors, and contextual factors.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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