________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 3 . . . .September 28, 2007


Out of the Question: Guiding Students to a Deeper Understanding of What They See, Read, Hear, and Do. [Original title: How to Succeed With Questioning.]

Sally Godinho & Jeni Wilson.
Markham, ON: Pembroke, 2007.
32 pp., stapled, $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-55138-214-2.

Subject Headings:


Review by Kristen Ferguson.

**½ /4



Questions help people make sense of the world, and questioning skills empower people as learners. They are pivotal for solving problems, creating solutions, and enacting change. Importantly, asking questions assists students in participating actively in their world and the wider context of a demographic society.


Sally Godinho and Jeni Wilson explore the art of questioning in Out of the Question: Guiding Students to a Deeper Understanding of What They See, Read, Hear, and Do which is compactly presented in a flipbook format. This attractively presented and succinct resource contains a combination of theory about questioning and classroom activities to teach questioning to students. The flipbook is divided into seven sections that address the following topics: why ask questions, questions in the classroom, deeper thinking questions, emotional response questions, creative thinking questions, developing questioning skills, and assessing questioning. Frameworks for questioning, such as Blooms' Taxonomy, are presented in tabular form for easy reference. Godinho and Wilson provide a variety of examples of different types and styles of questioning. For instance, the divergent thinking questioning model has seven question types and examples for each of the seven question types are given. Activities for teachers to use in the classroom are clearly colour-coded in blue tables and "how to" tips for teachers are coded in green. Also included in the flip book are two reproducible masters to assess student questioning skills as well as a self-assessment checklist for teachers about their own questioning skills in the classroom.

      For those looking for a review of questioning techniques and some classroom activities, Out of the Question would be suitable. The self-assessment checklist serves as a good quick check for teachers to revisit and self-evaluate their questioning techniques. Teachers may also find some helpful ideas for classroom lessons about questioning. The book does, however, have some weaknesses. It lacks a preface or an introduction and, at times, the purpose and audience for the book seemed unclear. I was, sometimes, unsure if the book is meant to be a guide for teachers about how to develop their questioning skills or if it is a collection of instructional strategies to teach questioning to students. While no doubt teacher modeling is important, combining classroom activities and teacher questioning techniques on the same page or in the same section was sometimes confusing for the reader. There is also some repetition throughout the book as some of the models have similar types of questions.

      A recommendation for this book would definitely depend on its audience. Veteran teachers looking for a general refresher on questioning would find this flipbook helpful. But overall, it offers little new information for experienced classroom teachers. However, this book would be valuable and an asset for preservice or new teachers as they learn questioning techniques themselves and integrate critical thinking into their lessons. Out of the Question would easily complement preservice instructional methods courses, particularly because of its very affordable cost and density of information.


Kristen Ferguson teaches Language Arts at the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University and is a doctoral student in Education at York University.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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