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Assertive Questioning

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This strategy can be useful to encourage whole-class participation and lots of thinking time when you’re wanting learners to explore a question in lots of depth.

The steps

  1. Arrange the class into groups of three or four.

  2. Provide each group with a thought provoking question (all groups should focus on the same question), which they then discuss and formulate a response to.

  3. The teacher asks individuals to give their group’s answer. These individuals are usually nominated by the teacher, but they could be volunteers from the group. The teacher gets a number of answers without giving the correct answer away.

  4. The teacher then encourages the class to discuss their various answers, and to agree, and justify a ‘class answer’.  Minority views are allowed, but the aim is consensus.

  5. Only when the class has agreed its answer does the teacher ‘give away’ the right answer.      

Top tips -  This can be a great strategy when posing a question that doesn’t have a definitive answer - e.g. which energy source is the most ethical? What’s more important: management or leadership? Is beauty skin deep?

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