Questioning Techniques: A Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking

Using instructional strategies that are designed to require students to analyze information critically is a great way to help them develop sound strategic thinking skills that can serve them well throughout their lifetimes. If you want your students to learn how to use critical thinking strategies, it’s important to incorporate questioning techniques designed to make them think and analyze information into your teaching methods. Of course, not every question facilitates mastery of critical thinking skills. It’s up to you to incorporate the use of appropriate questioning techniques into your lesson plans.

3 Examples of Questioning Techniques for Critical Thinking: 

  • Student Generated Questions: Instead of giving students questions to answer about their homework and assigned reading activities, have them come up with their own questions about what they have read. Use the questions that students come up with as points of discussion in class. Probe students to explain why they chose to ask certain things and have students describe what they learned as a result of the activity.
  • Strength and Weakness Questions: Instead of asking students to answer questions that merely require repeating what was covered in class discussions or textbooks, ask them to identify and explain the strengths and weaknesses of arguments related to the covered information.
  • Position Questioning: Ask students to take a side on a particular issue and have them answer questions that support the side they have chosen. For deeper learning and application of critical thinking strategies, have students come up with questions of their own to ask classmates who are arguing the opposite side of the issue.


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