Master Emilia Andersson-Bakken

Title of dissertation:

Teachers' use of questions and responses during whole-class teaching in science and language arts.


This thesis is within the field of classroom research, focusing on teachers’ use of questions and responses in whole-class teaching. Teachers’ use of questions is of great importance for how and to what extent students participate in the classroom discourse and learning that occurs through this participation. Research on teacher questions is of importance for practise and might contribute to improving quality of instruction. This research is therefore important for qualifications for teacher education and teacher professional development. On this basis the overarching research question for the thesis is:

How do lower secondary teachers ask questions and respond to the students’ answers during whole-class teaching in science and language arts?

To answer this research question, I have observed video data from the PISA+-study in the two subjects and developed more fine-grained research questions that are being addressed in four articles. Together, the four articles shed light on teachers' use of questions and responses from different analytical perspectives. The analyses are both on a general level, where time spent on different types of questions is registered, and a more detailed level, where a five-minute sequence of a literary conversation is analysed.

The results indicate that the teachers ask quite a lot of open questions. However these open questions have different functions in the classroom; although some open up the conversation, all open questions do not. Furthermore the results suggests that quite many of the open questions have social or classroom management functions as and not directly a function that are subject matter related.  The work is performed within the PhD program at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo.


Publisert 5. feb. 2015 15:05 - Sist endret 5. feb. 2015 15:05