Question templates – an approach to improving analysis

Reflecting English

A lot of the advice teachers receive about formulating good questionsis based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. According to Bloom’s,’creation’, ‘evaluation’ and ‘analysis’ questions – the higher-order questions – sit at the top of the pile. At the bottom sit their lower-order brethren, the’remember’ and ‘understand’ questions. The theory goes that if teachers askmore high-order questions and fewer lower-order questions, then their students will be encouraged tothink more critically and deeply. And woe betideany teacher who expects his students to answer a knowledge recall question. He is merely encouraging flimsy rote learning.

Even though Bloom’s and similar questioning hierarchies are not without merit, theysuffer from two obviousflaws. First, they are based on the assumption that knowledge and critical analysis are separate entities. In fact, they are completelyenmeshed and oftenimpossibleto disentangle. Analysis always needs something to analyse. Second, they are too generic. Different subjects require different types of question. Indeed, a skilled questioner…

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