AIOU Course Code 8623-1 Solved Assignment Autumn 2021

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Course: Elementary Educatin (8623)                                              Semester: Autumn, 2021 Level: B.Ed. (1.5 Years)

Assignment No.1

Q.1 Discuss elementary education in Pakistan and compare it with elementary education in India.


Education in Pakistan

Education in Pakistan is overseen by the Federal Ministry of Education and the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and in the financing of research and development. Article 25-A of Constitution of Pakistan obligates the state to provide free and compulsory quality education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years. “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law”

The education system in Pakistan[5] is generally divided into six levels: preschool (for the age from 3 to 5 years), primary (grades one through five), middle (grades six through eight), high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate or SSC), intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate or HSSC), and university programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees.[6] The Higher Education Commission established in 2002 is responsible for all universities and degree awarding institutes It was established in 2002 with Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS as its Founding Chairman.

The literacy rate ranges from 82% in Islamabad to 23% in the Torghar District.[9] Literacy rates vary by gender and region. In tribal areas female literacy is 9.5%,[10] while Azad Kashmir has a literacy rate of 74%.[11] Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 25,000-30,000 computer science graduates per year.[12] Despite these statistics, Pakistan still has low literacy rate.And Pakistan also has the second largest out of school population (22.8 million children) after Nigeria.

Primary education

Only about 67.5% of Pakistani children finish primary school education.[15] The standard national system of education is mainly inspired from the English educational systemPre-school education is designed for 3–5 years old and usually consists of three stages: Play Group, Nursery and Kindergarten (also called ‘KG’ or ‘Prep’). After pre-school education, students go through junior school from grades 1 to 5. This is followed by middle school from grades 6 to 8. At middle school, single-sex education is usually preferred by the community, but co-education is also common in urban cities. The curriculum is usually subject to the institution. The eight commonly examined disciplines are:

Most schools also offer drama studiesmusic and physical education but these are usually not examined or marked. Home economics is sometimes taught to female students, whereas topics related to astronomyenvironmental management and psychology are frequently included in textbooks of general science. Sometimes archaeology and anthropology are extensively taught in textbooks of social studies. SRE is not taught at most schools in Pakistan although this trend is being rebuked by some urban schools. Provincial and regional languages such as PunjabiSindhiPashto and others may be taught in their respective provinces, particularly in language-medium schools. Some institutes give instruction in foreign languages such as GermanTurkishArabicPersianFrench and Chinese. The language of instruction depends on the nature of the institution itself, whether it is an English-medium school or an Urdu-medium school.

Secondary education

Secondary education in Pakistan begins in grade 9 and lasts for four years. After end of each of the school years, students are required to pass a national examination administered by a regional Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (or BISE).

Upon completion of grade 9, students are expected to take a standardised test in each of the first parts of their academic subjects (SSC-I). They again give these tests of the second parts of the same courses at the end of grade 10 (SSC-II). Upon successful completion of these examinations, they are awarded a Secondary School Certificate (or SSC). This is locally termed a ‘matriculation certificate‘ or ‘matric’ for short. The curriculum usually includes a combination of eight courses including electives (such as Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Physics) as well as compulsory subjects (such as Mathematics, English, Urdu, Islamic studies and Pakistan Studies). The total marks for Matric are 1100 divided between 9th and 10th.[19] The marks are divided in each year follows: 75 marks for Maths, English and Urdu, 50 marks for Islamic Studies (religion) and Pakistan Studies, 65 marks for Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). an additional 60 marks are allotted for practicals (20 for each science). Students then enter an intermediate college and complete grades 11 and 12. Upon completion of each of the two grades, they again take standardised tests in their academic subjects (HSSC-I and HSSC-II). Upon successful completion of these examinations, students are awarded the Higher Secondary School Certificate (or HSSC). This level of education is also called the FSc/FA/ICS or ‘intermediate’. There are many streams students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences), computer science and commerce. Each stream consists of three electives and as well as three compulsory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiat (grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (grade 12 only).

Education in India

Education in India is primarily managed by state-run public education system, which fall under the command of the government at three levels: Centralstate and local. Under various articles of the Indian Constitution and the Right ofChildren to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, free and compulsory education is provided as a fundamental right to children aged 6 to 14. The approximate ratio of public schools to private schools in India is 7:5. Major policy initiatives in Indian education are numerous. Up until 1976, education policies and implementation were determined legally by each of India’s constitutional states. The 42nd amendment to the constitution in 1976 made education a ‘concurrent subject’. From this point on the central and state governments shared formal responsibility for funding and administration of education. In a country as large as India, now with 28 states and eight union territories, this means that the potential for variations between states in the policies, plans, programs and initiatives for elementary education is vast. Periodically, national policy frameworks are created to guide states in their creation of state-level programs and policies. State governments and local government bodies manage the majority of primary and upper primary schools and the number of government-managed elementary schools is growing. Simultaneously the number and proportion managed by private bodies is growing. In 2005-6 83.13% of schools offering elementary education (Grades 1-8) were managed by government and 16.86% of schools were under private management (excluding children in unrecognised schools, schools established under the Education Guarantee Scheme and in alternative learning centers). Of those schools managed privately, one third are ‘aided’ and two thirds are ‘unaided’. Enrolment in Grades 1-8 is shared between government and privately managed schools in the ratio 73:27. However in rural areas this ratio is higher (80:20) and in urban areas much lower (36:66).[7]

In the 2011 Census, about 73% of the population was literate, with 81% for males and 65% for females. National Statistical Commission surveyed literacy to be 77.7% in 2017–18, 84.7% for male and 70.3% for female.[8] This compares to 1981 when the respective rates were 41%, 53% and 29%. In 1951 the rates were 18%, 27% and 9%.[9] India’s improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to its economic development.[10] Much of the progress, especially in higher education and scientific research, has been credited to various public institutions. While enrolment in higher education has increased steadily over the past decade, reaching a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 26.3% in 2019,[11] there still remains a significant distance to catch up with tertiary education enrolment levels of developed nations,[12] a challenge that will be necessary to overcome in order to continue to reap a demographic dividend from India’s comparatively young population.

Poorly resourced public schools which suffer from high rates of teacher absenteeism may have encouraged the rapid growth of private (unaided) schooling in India, particularly in urban areas. Private schools divide into two types: recognised and unrecognised schools. Government ‘recognition’ is an official stamp of approval and for this a private school is required to fulfil a number of conditions, though hardly any private schools that get ‘recognition’ actually fulfil all the conditions of recognition. The emergence of large numbers of unrecognised primary schools suggests that schools and parents do not take government recognition as a stamp of quality.[13]

At the primary and secondary level, India has a large private school system complementing the government run schools, with 29% of students receiving private education in the 6 to 14 age group.[14] Certain post-secondary technical schools are also private. The private education market in India had a revenue of US$450 million in 2008, but is projected to be a US$40 billion market.[15]

As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012, 96.5% of all rural children between the ages of 6-14 were enrolled in school. This is the fourth annual survey to report enrolment above 96%. India has maintained an average enrolment ratio of 95% for students in this age group from year 2007 to 2014. As an outcome the number of students in the age group 6-14 who are not enrolled in school has come down to 2.8% in the academic year 2018 (ASER 2018).[16] Another report from 2013 stated that there were 229 million students enrolled in different accredited urban and rural schools of India, from Class I to XII, representing an increase of 2.3 million students over 2002 total enrolment, and a 19% increase in girl’s enrolment.[17] While quantitatively India is inching closer to universal education, the quality of its education has been questioned particularly in its government run school system. While more than 95 per cent of children attend primary school, just 40 per cent of Indian adolescents attend secondary school (Grades 9-12). Since 2000, the World Bank has committed over $2 billion to education in India. Some of the reasons for the poor quality include absence of around 25% of teachers every day.[18] States of India have introduced tests and education assessment system to identify and improve such schools.[19]

Although there are private schools in India, they are highly regulated in terms of what they can teach, in what form they can operate (must be a non-profit to run any accredited educational institution) and all the other aspects of the operation. Hence, the differentiation between government schools and private schools can be misleading.[20] However, in a report by Geeta Gandhi Kingdon entitled: The emptying of public Schools and growth of private schools in India, it is said that For sensible education policy making, it is vital to take account of the changing trends in the size of the private and public schooling sectors in India. Ignoring these trends involves the risk of poor policies/legislation, with attendant adverse consequences for children’s life chances.

Q.2 Describe the cognitive and intellectual development of a child at different levels.


Cognitive development and intellectual development really focuses on the way changes in the brain occur related to how we think and learn as we grow. Children do not just know less than adults do, there are differences in the very way that they think about and understand their experiences.

Cognitive development is a field of study in neuroscience and psychology focusing on a child’s development in terms of information processing, conceptual resources, perceptual skill, language learning, and other aspects of the developed adult brain and cognitive psychology. Qualitative differences between how a child processes their waking experience and how an adult processes their waking experience are acknowledged (Such as object permanence, the understanding of logical relations, and cause-effect reasoning in school-age children). Cognitive development is defined as the emergence of the ability to consciously cognize, understand, and articulate their understanding in adult terms. Cognitive development is how a person perceives, thinks, and gains understanding of their world through the relations of genetic and learning factors.[1] There are four stages to cognitive information development. They are, reasoning, intelligence, language, and memory. These stages start when the baby is about 18 months old, they play with toys, listen to their parents speak, they watch tv, anything that catches their attention helps build their cognitive development.

Jean Piaget was a major force establishing this field, forming his “theory of cognitive development“. Piaget proposed four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational period.[2] Many of Piaget’s theoretical claims have since fallen out of favor. His description of the most prominent changes in cognition with age, is generally still accepted today (e.g., how early perception moves from being dependent on concrete, external actions. Later, abstract understanding of observable aspects of reality can be captured; leading to the discovery of underlying abstract rules and principles, usually starting in adolescence)

In recent years, however, alternative models have been advanced, including information-processing theoryneo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development, which aim to integrate Piaget’s ideas with more recent models and concepts in developmental and cognitive science, theoretical cognitive neuroscience, and social-constructivist approaches. Another such model of cognitive development is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory.[3] A major controversy in cognitive development has been “nature versus nurture“, i.e, the question if cognitive development is mainly determined by an individual’s innate qualities (“nature”), or by their personal experiences (“nurture”). However, it is now recognized by most experts that this is a false dichotomy: there is overwhelming evidence from biological and behavioral sciences that from the earliest points in development, gene activity interacts with events and experiences in the environment.[

Intellectual development refers here to the changes that occur, as a result of growth and experience, in a person’s capacities for thinking, reasoning, relating, judging, conceptualizing, etc. In particular it concerns such changes in children. There are a number of different approaches to the study of intellectual development in children.

Intellectual development refers to a person’s growing ability to learn in relation to the world around him or her. Intellectual development is characterized by four stages.

Intellectual development measures how individuals learn to think and reason for themselves in relation to the world around them. Intellectual development starts early from the time a child is born. As a child grows, intellectual development continues whether it’s evident or not. It’s important to foster intellectual development all throughout life. A child’s intellectual development can be monitored by watching the child’s activities. Parents and scientists use certain markers or benchmarks to determine if a child is progressing intellectually. Most medical professionals recognize theorist Jean Piaget’s four stages of intellectual development. All children develop at different rates, so the age ranges given below are meant to give a indication of when these stages generally occur.

Sensorimotor Stage This stage occurs from the time a child is born until he or she becomes a toddler at two years old. During this stage, a child’s experiences with the world are based on his or her five senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting) and motor skills. During the first two months of life, the child is grasping and sucking. These are called elementary motor movements. After this stage, the child graduates to repetitive motor movements. Actions such as touching and kicking are used to gauge whether the child is developing at the average rate. The main accomplishment in this stage is understanding that an object that has gone out of view still exists, which is called object permanence. By the time the child reaches the end of this stage, he or she is showing signs of being able to solve problems.

Preoperational Stage This stage is characterized by intellectual development in early childhood during the ages of two through seven. At this stage, a child builds language skills. From the ages of two to four, logical reasoning is not at its height, yet a child can speak and be understood by those around him or her. From the ages of four to seven, a child’s speech becomes more developed. He or she begins to use simple reasoning while talking and can participate in games that have simple rules. A major milestone of this stage is being able to understand things from another person’s point of view, called theory of mind.

Concrete Operational Stage This stage in a child’s intellectual development occurs from the ages of seven to 11. At this stage, a child starts to understand logical patterns. The child’s cognitive skills are developed and help to form a solid understanding of different subjects. Since the child’s intellectual development has progressed, he or she is capable of solving problems completely and accurately. With a sharper cognitive focus, children at this stage are able to understand why processes happen. They can also understand processes that are only imagined instead of seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled.

Formal Operational Stage This stage happens from the age of 12 and on. At this stage, cognitive focus is heightened, and a person is able to understand abstract concepts. Children can solve abstract problems using information and context, meaning that not all of a problem’s components need to be present in order to solve it. Many of these components are inferred, requiring a person to logically deduce answers. Children and adults build on the intellectual development that occurs here for the rest of their lives.


Q.3 Elaborate the theories of persoanlity development by focusing on the role of family in the personality development of a child.


Personality Development?

It is our personality that makes us who we are, but how exactly do our personalities form? Personality development has been a major topic of interest for some of the most prominent thinkers in psychology. Since the inception of psychology as a separate science, researchers have proposed a variety of ideas to explain how and why personality develops.

Personality development refers to how the organized patterns of behavior that make up each person’s unique personality emerge over time. Many factors go into influencing personality, including genetics, environment, parenting, and societal variables. Perhaps most importantly, it is the ongoing interaction of all of these influences that continue to shape personality over time.

Key Theories

Our personalities make us unique, but how does personality develop? How exactly do we become who we are today? What factors play the most important role in the formation of personality? Can personality ever change?

To answer this question, many prominent theorists developed theories to describe various steps and stages that occur on the road of personality development. The following theories focus on various aspects of personality development, including cognitive, social, and moral development.

Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development

In addition to being one of the best-known thinkers in the area of personality development, Sigmund Freud remains one of the most controversial. In his well-known stage theory of psychosexual development, Freud suggested that personality develops in stages that are related to specific erogenous zones. Failure to complete these stages, he suggested, would lead to personality problems in adulthood.

Freud’s Structural Model of Personality

Freud not only theorized about how personality developed over the course of childhood, but he also developed a framework for how overall personality is structured. According to Freud, the basic driving force of personality and behavior is known as the libido. This libidinal energy fuels the three components that make up personality: the id, the ego, and the superego.

  • The id is the aspect of personality present at birth. It is the most primal part of the personality and drives people to fulfill their most basic needs and urges.
  • The ego is the aspect of personality charged with controlling the urges of the id and forcing it to behave in realistic ways.
  • The superego is the final aspect of personality to develop and contains all of the ideals, morals, and values imbued by our parents and culture. This part of personality attempts to make the ego behave according to these ideals. The ego must then moderate between the primal needs of the id, the idealistic standards of the superego and reality.

Freud’s concept of the idego, and superego has gained prominence in popular culture, despite a lack of support and considerable skepticism from many researchers. According to Freud, it is the three elements of personality that work together to create complex human behaviors.

 What Are the Id, Ego, and Superego?

Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson’s eight-stage theory of human development is one of the best-known theories in psychology. While the theory builds on Freud’s stages of psychosexual development, Erikson chose to focus on how social relationships impact personality development. The theory also extends beyond childhood to look at development across the entire lifespan.

At each stage of psychosocial development, people face a crisis in which a task must be mastered. Those who successfully complete each stage emerge with a sense of mastery and well-being. Those who do not resolve the crisis at each stage may struggle with those skills for the remainder of their lives.

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development remains one of the most frequently cited in psychology, despite being subject to considerable criticism. While many aspects of his theory have not stood the test of time, the central idea remains important today: children think differently than adults.

According to Piaget, children progress through a series of four stages that are marked by distinctive changes in how they think. How children think about themselves, others, and the world around them plays an important role in the formation of personality.

Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

Lawrence Kohlberg developed a theory of personality development that focused on the growth of moral thought. Building on a two-stage process proposed by Piaget, Kohlberg expanded the theory to include six different stages.

The theory has been criticized for a number of different reasons. One primary criticism is that it does not accommodate different genders and cultures equally, Kohlberg’s theory remains important in our understanding of how personality develops.

A Word FromVerywell

Personality involves not only inborn traits but also the development of cognitive and behavioral patterns that influence how people think and act. Temperament is a key part of the personality that is determined by inherited traits.

Character is an aspect of personality influenced by experience that continues to grow and change throughout life. While personality continues to evolve over time and respond to the influences and experiences of life, much of personality is determined by inborn traits and early childhood experiences.


Q.4 Discuss the questioning technique and its contribution in developing higher mental processes.


“Garbage in, garbage out,” is a popular truth, often said in relation to computer systems: if you put the wrong information in, you’ll get the wrong information out.

The same principle applies to communications in general: if you ask the wrong questions, you’ll probably get the wrong answer, or at least not quite what you’re hoping for.

Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communications and information exchange. By using the right questions in a particular situation, you can improve a whole range of communications skills. For example, you can gather better information and learn more, you can build stronger relationships, manage people more effectively, and help others to learn too.

In this article and in the video, below, we will explore some common questioning techniques, and when (and when not) to use them.

Open and Closed Questions

A closed question usually receives a single word or very short, factual answer. For example, “Are you thirsty?” The answer is “Yes” or “No”; “Where do you live?” The answer is generally the name of your town or your address.

Open questions elicit longer answers. They usually begin with what, why, how. An open question asks the respondent for his or her knowledge, opinion or feelings. “Tell me” and “describe” can also be used in the same way as open questions. Here are some examples:

  • What happened at the meeting?
  • Why did he react that way?
  • How was the party?
  • Tell me what happened next.
  • Describe the circumstances in more detail.

Open questions are good for:

  • Developing an open conversation: “What did you get up to on vacation?”
  • Finding out more detail: “What else do we need to do to make this a success?”
  • Finding out the other person’s opinion or issues: “What do you think about those changes?”

Closed questions are good for:

  • Testing your understanding, or the other person’s: “So, if I get this qualification, I will get a raise?”
  • Concluding a discussion or making a decision: “Now we know the facts, are we all agreed this is the right course of action?”
  • Frame setting: “Are you happy with the service from your bank?”

A misplaced closed question, on the other hand, can kill the conversation and lead to awkward silences, so are best avoided when a conversation is in full flow.

Funnel Questions

This technique involves starting with general questions, and then drilling down to a more specific point in each. Usually, this will involve asking for more and more detail at each level. It’s often used by detectives taking a statement from a witness:

“How many people were involved in the fight?”
“About ten.”
“Were they kids or adults?”
“Mostly kids.”
“What sort of ages were they?”
“About fourteen or fifteen.”
“Were any of them wearing anything distinctive?”
“Yes, several of them had red baseball caps on.”
“Can you remember if there was a logo on any of the caps?”
“Now you come to mention it, yes, I remember seeing a big letter N.”

Using this technique, the detective has helped the witness to re-live the scene and to gradually focus in on a useful detail. Perhaps he’ll be able to identify young men wearing a hat like this from CCTV footage. It is unlikely he would have got this information if he’s simply asked an open question such as “Are there any details you can give me about what you saw?”


When using funnel questioning, start with closed questions. As you progress through the tunnel, start using more open questions.

Funnel questions are good for:

  • Finding out more detail about a specific point: “Tell me more about Option Two.”
  • Gaining the interest or increasing the confidence of the person you’re speaking with: “Have you used the IT Helpdesk?,” “Did it solve your problem?,” “What was the attitude of the person who took your call?”

Probing Questions

Asking probing questions is another strategy for finding out more detail. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking your respondent for an example, to help you understand a statement that they have made. At other times, you need additional information for clarification, “When do you need this report by, and do you want to see a draft before I give you my final version?” Or to investigate whether there is proof for what has been said, “How do you know that the new database can’t be used by the sales force?”

An effective way of probing is to use the 5 Whys  method, which can help you quickly get to the root of a problem.


Use questions that include the word “exactly” to probe further: “What exactly do you mean by fast-track?” or “Who, exactly, wanted this report?”

Probing questions are good for:

  • Gaining clarification to ensure that you have the whole story and that you understand it thoroughly.
  • Drawing information out of people who are trying to avoid telling you something.

Leading Questions

Leading questions try to lead the respondent to your way of thinking. They can do this in several ways:

  • With an assumption– “How late do you think that the project will deliver?” This assumes that the project will certainly not be completed on time.
  • By adding a personal appeal to agree at the end– “Lori’s very efficient, don’t you think?” or “Option Two is better, isn’t it?”
  • Phrasing the question so that the “easiest” response is “yes”– Our natural tendency to prefer to say “yes” than “no” plays an important part in the phrasing of questions: “Shall we all approve Option Two?” is more likely to get a positive response than “Do you want to approve Option Two or not?” A good way of doing this is to make it personal. For example, “Would you like me to go ahead with Option Two?” rather than “Shall I choose Option Two?”
  • Giving people a choice between two options– both of which you would be happy with, rather than the choice of one option or not doing anything at all. Strictly speaking, the choice of “neither” is still available when you ask “Which would you prefer… A or B?” but most people will be caught up in deciding between your two preferences.


Q.5 Discuss the techniques of questioning for the development of higher mental process from teachers’ as well as pupils’ point of view


Questioning techniques

Asking and answering questions is a key ingredient in the learning process and in effective teaching. Using a variety of questions in the classroom can serve many different purposes — they can be used to:

  • Diagnose students’ level of understanding
  • Help students retain material but putting into words otherwise unarticulated thoughts
  • Involve and engage students in their learning process, especially critical thinking and reflection
  • Test students’ knowledge
  • Dispel misconceptions
  • Summarize and review key points and highlighting main themes, ideas and skills
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Modifying students’ perception of the subject
  • Encourage students to become self-directed learners


How can you encourage students’ responses to your questions?

If students are interested and engaged in the course content, they should be asking a question. As TA’s and CI’s, we should welcome and encourage questions from our students.


Hence, it is important to follow certain basic rules around student questions:

  • Take questions seriously —

Treat every inquiry as a genuine attempt at intellectual curiosity, probing and exploration

  • Be positive and encouraging —

Promote the idea that every student question is useful, important and appreciated.

  • Draw all class members into the conversation —

Whenever you field a question,repeat it to the entire class and answer to the entire class

  • Avoid embarrassing students who have asking problematic questions —

Avoid making the questioner feel foolish especially when a question reveals the individual student’s lack of awareness or knowledge

  • Create an atmosphere of inquiry by continuously eliciting questions —

If you get a question during a break, before or after class, or during your office hours, raise it with the whole class

  • Be a good listener —

Good questioning technique is as much about listening as it is about


How can you motivate students to ask questions?

You should encourage your students to create their own questions about course content.

Ask students to:

  • Suggest and submit quiz, mid-term or exam questions
  • Get student to quiz each other on the tutorial/lesson/lecture content
  • Get students to write down one or two remaining questions at the end of the tutorial.


Avoid the “are there any questions?” Turn these reflective moments into opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding as a check of their learning:

  • “now, i am sure you have some questions?”
  • “that was complicated. What did i leave out?”
  • “this is a difficult topic with lots of controversial issues. Which area do you think remains controversial?”

How should you respond to students’ questions?

Responding to student questions about content also requires some basic rules:

  • Reinforce good questions and answers —

Reinforce participation on a continuous basis and in a variety of direct and indirect ways by praising students for asking or answering a question

  • Answer as pointedly and briefly as possible –

Be straightforward in your answer and avoid providing all information that you know about the topic

  • Answer questions immediately –

Always provide a response to avoid discouraging students; however, you can ask other students to respond or postpone the question (if it is too divergent or complex) until after class

  • Relate questions to the course content, even if they are tangential –

Remind students of how a seemingly unrelated question does pertain to course content as every question if a learning opportunity

  • Ask for comments or answers from other students –

You can redirect a question from one student to the entire class

  • Avoid implicit discouragement –

Especially if a question pertains to a topic already covered or diverges towards a tangential topic

  • Be aware of your teaching presence –

Be mindful of your tone of voice and nonverbal cues (e.g., facial expressions, nodding, gestures, etc.)

  • If absolutely necessary, tactfully correct wrong answers –

Correct the answer, not the student: “i don’t believe that answer is correct” instead of “you are wrong”

  • Look beyond the answer, to the thought process –

Even if incorrect, unpack the student’s answer to identify correct and incorrect steps to dispel misconceptions (adapted from boyle and rothstein, 2008; davis, 1993)


How can you manage student responses to your questions?

You can vary your response to a student’s answer in a variety of ways:

  • Restate:

Paraphrase or restate what the student sad to reinforce the key points, ideas or concepts

  • Ask for clarification:

“could you be more specific about…”

  • Invite the student to elaborate:

“we would like to hear more about…”

  • Expand the student’s contribution:

“that’s absolutely correct, and follow up on what you said…”

  • Acknowledge the student’s contribution but ask for another perspective:

“you are right about…but what if we look at it from the perspective of…”

  • Acknowledge the originality of a student’s ideas:

“that’s a great way of looking at it. I didn’t think of that.”

  • Build on a student’s response: use student’s response as a segue to another topic:

“great analysis of the concept” would the same rules apply in this next case…”

  • Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer



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