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Quality Questioning

Quality Questioning
Research-Based Practice to Engage Every Learner

Second Edition

A Joint Publication of McREL International, Foreword by John Hattie

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October 2016 | 264 pages | Corwin

Realize the potential of quality questioning for student thinking and learning

Jackie Walsh and Beth Sattes present quality questioning as a process that begins with the preparation of questions to engage all students in thinking and culminates in the facilitation of dialogue that takes learning deeper. This new edition of the bestseller organizes questioning practices around the 6Ps framework, composed of Prepare and Present the Question, Prompt Student Thinking, Process Student Responses, Polish Questioning Practices, and Partner with Students. It extends and expands on timeless principles while adding significant new research-based practices and insights derived from the authors’ own learning with and from classroom teachers. Designed for immediate classroom use, this guide includes:

  • Graphics, tools, and strategies to develop student skills and create a classroom culture that nurtures thinking and learning
  • QR codes that link to more than twenty new videos depicting students and teachers from elementary through high school
  • Tools and strategies to support teacher engagement in personal reflection, classroom observations, and collaborative dialogue that improve personal practice

This exciting new book demonstrates how to seamlessly integrate effective questioning strategies into daily practice, thereby energizing teaching and learning. 

"Questions are the most important tool in a teacher’s toolbox. Walsh and Sattes teach us how to sharpen those tools and use the right ones to maximize learning. They understand that questioning isn’t interrogation, but rather frames dialogic instruction. You can see this come to life in the videos throughout this book! Quality Questioning belongs on every thoughtful educator’s bookshelf."
—Nancy Frey, Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
San Diego State University, CA

"If you’re ready to shift your purpose for questioning from answer-getting to provoking higher-order thinking, this book is a must-read. Never again will you take questioning for granted."
—Connie Hamilton, EdS, Curriculum Director
Saranac (Michigan) Community Schools

"Reading this book is like chatting with an amazing professional friend and mentor. It’s a joy to read, to ponder, and to use as a constant resource.
—Susan Hudson, Educational Consultant and Former Exemplary Educator
Tennessee Department of Education

"A must-read for all teachers who continually strive to improve their practice to better impact student learning."
—Betsy Rogers, EdD, 2003 National Teacher of the Year & Associate Professor and Department Chair, Curriculum and Instruction
Samford University, Birmingham, AL
List of “Partner With Students” Features
List of Videos
About the Authors
Introduction: Sources of Renewal
Chapter 1. Setting the Stage: What Is Quality Questioning?
Chapter 2. Prepare the Question: What Are the Distinguishing Features of Quality Questions?
Chapter 3. Present the Question: How Can Teachers Engage All Students in Thinking and Responding?
Chapter 4. Prompt Student Thinking: How Can Teachers Assist Students in Making Connections?
Chapter 5. Process Responses: How Can Teachers Use Feedback to Deepen Student Thinking and Learning?
Chapter 6. Polish Questioning Practices: How Can Ongoing Reflection and Dialogue About Classroom Questioning Improve Teaching and Learning?
Appendix: Response Structures to Engage Learners in Thinking and Responding


"In reviewing standards and performance assessments for CAEP accreditation, questioning strategies stand out. The second edition of Quality Questioning will help our students fully understand both why and how effective questioning impacts student learning. From foundation courses and field experience through student teaching in prek-12 schools, our students will find this book useful. I love the inclusion of videos that show teachers using these questioning strategies in their classrooms because our students can immediately begin using the research-based strategies from the book. As students develop their own performance assessment videos, Quality Questioning 2e will be a definite help, providing useful examples. This book that will have a long and useful life and will never be packed away or left unused!"

Donna Carr, EdD., Education and Sports Science Division Chair
Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, West Virginia

"Jackie Walsh and Beth Sattes have a near-legendary history in their work to bridge the art and science of quality questioning. If an artisan is one who hones his craft toward perfection and a scientist one who searches for truth, then Walsh and Sattes are artisans and scientists. Add to this their unsurpassed experiences as premier presenters for adult learners and we have a book that guides classroom teachers through a careful yet practical process for student achievement. By embedding the notion that students are partners throughout the “6Ps Framework,” the authors put power in classroom learning experiences. By following their adept and practiced suggestions, teachers will see increases in the rate, degree, and transfer of student learning."

Sue A. Davis, Retired, Former Achievement Gap Coordinator and Highly Skilled Educator; middle and high school principal; teacher
Kentucky Department of Education

"Quality Questioning is an incredible resource for teachers who wish to maximize the impact of questioning in their classrooms. Through passion and experience, Walsh and Sattes outline a 6Ps framework that teachers can readily integrate into their practice. They offer a compelling research base along with thoughtful prompts that encourage collaborative teacher thinking and reflection. This book is beautifully written and highlights student voice and partnership in learning, making it an important read for all educators."

Jenni Donohoo, Author and Consultant
Corwin Authors

"Questions are the most important tool in a teacher’s toolbox. Walsh and Sattes teach us how to sharpen those tools and use the right ones to maximize learning. They understand that questioning isn’t interrogation, but rather frames dialogic instruction. You can see this come to life in the videos that accompany this book! Quality Questioning belongs on every thoughtful educator’s bookshelf."

Nancy Frey, Professor
Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University

This research-based work, like the authors’ previous books on quality questioning, is both practical and innovative. Teachers and administrators in our district have used the authors’ earlier works to impact student outcomes in our schools. This latest book is better than ever. We look forward to using it as a resource to build on previous successes that have resulted from more intentional use of quality questioning strategies.

Khristie Goodwin, Director of Special Education & Curriculum Coordinator
Oxford (Alabama) City Schools

"All educators use questioning, but few use a thorough cycle of questioning that engages learners, deepens student thinking, and provides formative feedback to the teacher and students. If you're ready to shift your purpose for questioning from answer-getting to provoking higher-order thinking, Quality Questioning is a must-read. Walsh and Sattes relate quality questioning to 12 of Hattie's top 50 areas that actually work to improve learning, including metacognition, peer learning, and teacher-student relationships. Never again will you take questioning for granted." 

Connie Hamilton, Ed.S., Curriculum Director and Author of Hacking Homework
Saranac (Michigan) Community Schools

"Read this book and discover the art and craft of quality questioning. Jackie and Beth have masterfully provided the perfect balance between the purpose, process, and practice of quality questioning. They demonstrate the important role students play in bringing quality questioning to life, optimizing the possibilities for cognitive engagement—the heart of meaningful learning. Their first edition was impressive; the second is simply exquisite."

Sharon Hill, Principal
Greenacres Elementary School, Washington

“Imagine a classroom where all of the questions the teacher asks are purposeful, carefully crafted, and highly engaging of all students. The teachers uses questioning practices that engage all students in thinking and responding. Now imagine that there is a research-informed, field-tested, highly-acclaimed resource available that will help create such a classroom. Look no further: The second edition of Quality Questioning by Jackie Acree Walsh and Beth Dankert Sattes is just the book you need. Aligned to Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge framework and John Hattie’s latest work, Quality Questioning advocates for collaborative teacher thinking and partnering with students to achieve effectiveteaching and learning in all classrooms.”

Andrea Honigsfeld, Associate Dean and Ed.D. Program Director
Molloy College, New York

"In their second edition of Quality Questioning, Jackie Walsh and Beth Sattes have built on their earlier classic. Reading this book is like chatting with an amazing professional friend and mentor. Utilizing a multitude of current and seminal research on questioning, teaching, and learning, each chapter models their practices of questioning to improve instruction. The authors invite us to think and talk with colleagues about the phases of quality questioning and instruct us to review and reflect on personal practice. In each chapter the reader is encouraged—and taught how—to interact and partner with students to create a classroom of intuitive, inquisitive questioners. The authors pepper the book with specific and usable instructional strategies with specific content examples. This book is a marvelous resource for both the individual teacher and professional communities wanting to improve their students’ thinking and learning skills. It’s a joy to read, to ponder, and to use as a constant resource."

Susan Hudson, Retired, Educational Consultant and former Exemplary Educator
Tennessee Department of Education

"Almost three years ago, as an elementary principal, I read the first edition of Quality Questioning, collaborating with a successful teacher to read, reflect, and dialogue. Our discussions prompted major shifts in our thinking about student engagement through the vehicle of quality questioning. Over the past two years, we have worked collaboratively in our district to understand and use Quality Questioning on each school campus. Our journey has involved learning and reflection as we made the commitment to improve student engagement and produce higher levels of student learning. This second edition of Quality Questioning will enable all educators to make this journey; the research base is more rigorous and the video examples very helpful for seeing questioning practices in action. Our teachers have learned to become more collaborative and more intentional as they plan questions, consider how students may respond, use alternate response structures to engage more students, and reflect together on student learning results. As a 25-year veteran educator, it is a joy to see the most successful, veteran teachers shift their thinking and practices to improve student learning."

Paige Meloni, Executive Director of Special Programs, Grants, and Research & Development
Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District

Jackie Acree Walsh

Learn more about Jackie Walsh's PD offeringsJackie Walsh is an independent educational consultant who partners with educators across the country to enhance teaching and leading in classrooms, schools, and districts. Her passion and primary area of expertise is questioning—for both student and adult learning. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, Jackie is also the lead consultant for the Alabama Best Practices Center, which affords her the opportunity to work with networks of school teams, district teams, instructional partners, and superintendents. Jackie’s early experience as a high school social studies teacher contributed to her passion... More About Author

Elizabeth Dankert Sattes

Learn more about Beth Sattes' PD offeringsBeth Dankert Sattes is a co-developer with Jackie Acree Walsh of Questioning and Understanding to Improve Learning and Thinking (QUILT), a nationally validated professional development program on effective questioning. They are also co-authors of Inside School Improvement (2000) and co-presenters of the Video Journal in Education series Questioning to Stimulate Thinking (1999). These two former classroom teachers have trained hundreds of administrators and teachers across the nation in effective questioning. Their other joint ventures have focused on creating effective professional... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781506328874