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Reflective questioning

Reflective questioning is a technique in which the mentor asks questions designed to encourage the beginning teacher to discuss and analyze her or his practice.

Asking reflective questions allows the mentor to:

  • Initiate conversations that encourage critical thinking
  • Prompt the beginning teacher to explore his or her ideas and “make sense” of them

To ask reflective questions:

  • Ask open-ended questions based on the beginning teacher’s immediate experience
  • Follow-up with questions that elicit more information or deeper thought
  • Hold back when you are tempted to give advice  

Reflective questioning sounds like:

  • Tell me about how you are planning to start the year. What routines will you establish with the students?
  • Tell me more about your plans for the conference.
  •  Last time you told me about a math assessment you were designing. What did you learn about your students from it?