Divergent Questions In Critical Thinking

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One of the most effective teaching tools to assess and stimulate critical thinking is questioning. Questions are mostly used to generate the recall of previous knowledge, but effective questioning lead to advance student learning and engender discussions.

The use of questioning is more effective when the students are actively involved in the learning process. One important technique to realize this is divergent questions. “we relied mostly on divergent questions based on the information from literature which states that these questions encourage critical thinking and reasoning in addition to increased participation” (Cruickshank, 2009,p.372). And in this respect,the questions tend to be more analytical.
As an example, at the French IB class I observed, you shortly notice the student’s energy and excitement. As a starter the teacher wrote a question on the board and asked the students to sit in a group of 5. She gave them 2 min to discuss the topic and she assigned one of each group to answer and explain the reasons behind their answer. Every group has to give examples as evidence.
The teacher drew a diagram on the
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However this is not true. In fact, when using divergent questions the teacher encourages students to explore and participate in discussions while leading it by clarifying and guiding student’s critical thinking. Moreover, those types of questions require students to reason and give their opinions and so express their feelings and values. The teachers mainly use this type of questions when they want to discuss, evaluate and analyze. Basically, the teacher should classify the type of questions used depending on the subject and on the year group. As Barnes states: “different subjects impose different constraints on the type of questions which can be asked” ( John Roberston,

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