Enhancing Teachers’ Questioning Skills to Improve Children’s Learning and Thinking in Pacific Island Early Childhood Centres
As we move from a teacher-led mode of teaching and learning to more child-initiated approaches, questions rather than answers are imperative in shaping the socio-cognitive development of learners as they explore and make meaning in collaborative contexts. This paper outlines an action research study with 20 Pacific Island teachers held in 6 different Pacific Island early childhood centres. The participants of the study were trained on a modified model of ‘Questioning and Understanding Improves Learning and Thinking’ (QUILT) that focused on different teacher behaviours and skills in the process of questioning. Important changes in beliefs and practices were found after the intervention particularly in relation to the fostering of divergent thinking through the type of questions teachers asked and how they undertook the questioning episodes. This paper concludes that it is important to focus on promoting novice teachers’ knowledge and skills in questioning so that they can support children’s higher levels of thinking. This is especially relevant for teachers in Pacific Island early childhood centres.
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