Preservice teacher’s purposeful questioning : a descriptive case study of elementary mathematics preservice teachers.

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Teachers ask questions frequently (Wassermann, 1991; Vogler, 2005; and Jiang, 2014), often asking questions that require low cognitive demand from their students (Sanders, 1966; Gall, 1970; National Science Teaching Association, 1976; Harrop & Swinson, 2003; and Sahin & Kulm, 2008). Teachers use high-leverage practices like questioning frequently and in various contexts to improve student learning and support mathematics practices (Ball, Sleep, et al., 2009). Since questioning takes years to develop (Martino & Maher, 1999), the process must start with preservice teachers. However, currently, there is a lack of research into the development of preservice teachers’ questioning utilizing Huinker and Bill’s (2017) Purposeful Question Types. The purpose of this study was to provide a more detailed description of preservice teachers’ use and understanding of purposeful questioning utilizing this mathematics-specific framework. The descriptive case study approach allowed the researcher to describe the pre-service teachers' questioning in the elementary math methods course and coinciding seven-week field experience as a single case. As part of the broader study, the preservice teachers recorded three lessons during this experience and reflected on their questioning utilizing the Purposeful Question Types. As part of an embedded unit of analysis, the researcher observed and analyzed the questioning of four focal students and conducted post-observation conferences and interviews with these preservice teachers. The researcher analyzed findings from the broader study and the embedded unit of analysis to identify themes from the preservice teachers as a whole, the single case. This study indicates that the preservice teachers increased the variety of Purposeful Question Types asked while continuing to rely on questions that heavily require low cognitive demand. Further, the findings suggest that this seven-week experience impacted the preservice teachers’ purposeful questioning. Further research is needed to analyze which specific representations, decompositions, and approximations of practice (Grossman, Compton, et al., 2009) aided in the development of preservice teacher purposeful questioning. Based on these findings, the researcher provides implications and recommendations for teacher educators and classroom mentor teachers. The researcher also recommends areas for future research based upon these findings.

Purposeful question types. Purposeful questioning. Preservice teachers.