The pre-service development of teacher skill in reading questioning strategy
The purpose of this study was to develop and test materials for training prospective teachers in appropriate questioning strategy in teaching reading. The intent wasto enhance teacher skill in phrasing comprehension questions that promote children's critical reading behaviors. ProceduresInstructional and evaluative materials and a question classification system were developed based upon a review of literature relative to reading comprehension and instructional questioning. The classification system, titled ASK:Q Comprehension Categories, contained six categories. Vocabulary-Experiential, Literal, and Transformational constituted the Non-Critical categories. The Critical Reading categories included the Inferential, Evaluative, and Creative categories.The instructional material, titled TASK:QS, consisted of a series of four lesson booklets. The acronym was derived from: Teaching for Acquisition of Skill and Knowledge in Questioning Strategy. The booklets were designed to be used by groups of four or five college students in a reading methods class. Each lesson was intended to be self- or group-instructional and required the major portion of a class period. The evaluative material, ASK:Q, consisted of preand post-test forms, each containing three reading selections for which comprehension questions were to be written. The acronym was derived from Assessing Skill and Knowledge in Questioning. ASK:Q was subjected to analysis for validity and rater-reliability.Early in the quarter ASK:Q-1 (pre-test) was administered to students in two sections of a reading methods course at Ball State University to assess the question-phrasing status of the participants. Both sections were taught by the same instructor. Students in one section (control group) experienced the conventional course content. Students in the other section (experimental group) experienced the same course content. In addition, the experimental group used one TASK:QS lesson each week during the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth weeks of the quarter. ASK:Q-2 (post-test) was administered to students in both sections at the conclusion of the study to record any changes in question-phrasing ability.Questions written in response to ASK:Q-1 and ASK:Q-2 were scored in terms of assignment to the ASK:Q Comprehension Categories. Analysis of covariance was applied to pre-test and post-test scores. The corresponding F-values were used to determine the significance of changes in questioning strategy. Analysis focused upon changes in total number of Critical Reading questions and changes in the number of questions written in each comprehension category.ConclusionsWhile both groups evidenced gains, the experimental group wrote significantly more Critical Reading questions. Because of the small number of questions, the VocabularyExperiential category was not subjected to analysis. Changes reached statistical significance for only the Literal and Creative categories, the experimental group evidenced improved questioning strategy with respect to increased or decreased use of each of the categories analyzed. Based on statistical evidence it may be concluded that exposure to the instructional materials had only a limited effect upon enhancing the use of questions in specific comprehension categories. Results tend to indicate that questioning strategy may be influenced more effectively with respect to the total Critical Reading category rather than in terms of specific comprehension categories. It would appear that TASK:QS materials provide an effective means for enhancing teachers' skill in phrasing appropriate reading comprehension questions.The present study provided evidence that improvements can be effected in pre-service teachers' reading comprehension questioning. Results of the study also indicated that questioning strategy may be enhanced within the format of a reading methods course. It would appear appropriate to provide experiences similar to TASK:QS for prospective teachers.