Using Question Techniques for Learning in PE [Interactive]


Questioning techniques are vital to helping students to understand concepts and strategies within physical education. This podcast explores the importance of including questioning techniques as well as my top teaching strategy to allow for more natural questioning!

[0:02] Hey, everyone, on today’s podcast, I want to talk to you about the role and importance of questioning within our job as physical educators, as well as my favorite teaching strategy that you can use to make questioning more of a habit to help your students.

[0:35] In a subject such as physical education, some people out there may argue that utilizing questioning techniques is not necessary or not as important compared to some of the other “academic content areas” within a traditional school setting. To me as physical educators, we have to realize our subject encompasses more than just the psychomotor domain.

Why Utilize Questions in PE?

[0:58] Utilizing questioning techniques in physical education allows for us to connect the brain and the body. When I teach, I want my students to be thinking movers instead of just mindlessly going through the motions. So asking questions in a different way and having students think through possible answers helps to achieve this brain body connection by linking the cycle motor domain of movement to the cognitive and affective domains as well. Posing questions to students also allows for the opportunity for them to discuss with one another, which is a powerful tool in the learning process.

Explore, Pose, Discuss, Refine

[1:29] Throughout the rest of this podcast, I want to share with you my top teaching strategy that allows for more natural questioning within the process, and I call this teaching strategy explore, pose, discuss, refine. And if you’re familiar with experiential learning, that is what this strategy is really based off of.

Explore the Task

[1:49] So the first part of this strategy is Explore. So during this piece, essentially you as a teacher are going to give your students a task to perform and allow them to explore this task in different ways. So in my teaching, I found that starting broad here in relation to the task is often best. So for example, I might tell my students okay, get with a partner, choose an object from the bins in the middle of the gym and go to a spot on the wall together and you can begin taking turns throwing the object off the wall so your partner has to try to catch it and make sure you trade jobs after each throw or catch attempt is made.

Pose a Question

[2:23] So after giving them some time to explore here during the first part of this strategy, we go into the next phase of this strategy, which is pose. During this piece, we’ll kind of stop the class and ask them some questions based upon the experience they just had that’s also tied to the objective of the lesson for the day. So, for an example question maybe if our lesson focuses on force and accuracy, I might pose the question of “how did throwing the ball higher off the wall affect how it rebounded back or lower off the wall? How did that affect how it rebounded back? Or how did the amount of force you used to throw affect how the ball rebounded back?” If our focus is more on the affective domain like teamwork, I might pose the question to them of “what strategies or character traits have helped you and your partner to be successful so far?” These questions should be thought of ahead of time by you as a teacher, as they served to be the main point of dialogue and the next piece of this teaching strategy.

Discuss with a Partner and Group

[3:19] So after posing those questions now it’s time to go into the third part, which is the discussion part. So after you pose these questions, you can have the partners discuss potential answers to these questions together as part of a think, pair, share before asking students to share out. Recording your student’s answers on the board here can help to keep these ideas and suggestions that they come up with in greater focus throughout the rest of your class together, which is really important for the next phase of the strategy. As students share their answers, try to get them to elaborate on what they mean in an attempt to engage them in higher-order thinking.

Refine Performance in Relation to the Question

[3:56] The fourth and final part of this strategy is the refine piece. So after the discussion, have the students go back into the activity as they attempt to refine their performance in relation to the questions and discussions that just took place. So while you’re circulating around and supervising them during this time, you as a teacher can then touch base with students as they are working and even ask them some spin-off questions that help them to continue to think and relate back to the focus of the day.

[4:20] So in conclusion, the explorer, pose, discuss, refine strategy has been one of my favorite teaching strategies to allow for questioning to occur more naturally within my classes. This strategy allows for student voice and collaboration and can work pretty much with any lesson as long as you change the questions to relate to the focus of your day. Try this out within your own teaching and see how it goes. I think both you and your students will enjoy it, too. 

One Response

  1. Hi Ross, interesting article in which I am only now delving into as a PE teacher. Have you any suggested reading related to Questioning that you yourself found useful in your own learning. Regards Joe

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