Questioning and reasoning

How can I get my pupils to think, reason and explain?

Pupils often focus all their attention on getting a right answer rather than on the quality of their reasoning. In this module, we therefore consider:

  • the types of questions that encourage pupils to think and reason
  • ways in which you might encourage pupils to provide extended, thoughtful answers, without being afraid of making mistakes
  • the value of modelling reasoning by 'thinking aloud' with your class

View online

The module is a three-part "sandwich", giving a chance for participants to try the new ideas in their own classroom, then reconvene to discuss the experience:

Introductory session

Discuss the issues, observe a lesson video and plan your own lesson

Into the classroom

Try an activity in your own classroom

Follow-up session

Reflect on your experiences and explore related issues


The videos were made possible by the hard work, patience and cooperation of the staff and pupils of Coundon Court School and Community College, Coventry.

Technical notes

These modules will work best with a recent version of Internet Explorer (IE 10/11), Firefox, Safari or Chrome. IE8 or later should work (with some cosmetic issues) but will not be supported.

The modules are video-based, and require a fast internet connection.

Some institutional networks may interfere with the video playback. Alternatively, download the complete module from the link below when you have access to fast internet (the files are ~1GB) and run the module from your hard drive or a memory stick.

PC Users will require Adobe Reader or alternative to view and print the documents.

To run the software applets online, you will need Flash Player installed.