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No opt out in a secondary classroom

Questioning is a common feature of classroom teaching. Brualdi’s (1998) research suggests that many teachers ask more than 300 questions per day! In order to support our pupils’ progress, we need to think carefully about the way that we construct and use questions in the classroom.

What happens when our carefully constructed, challenging question results in an ‘I don’t know’ response from a pupil? The ‘No opt out’ strategy from Doug Lemov (2015) might be helpful to us. In this short video clip, we see the strategy in action.

As you watch this video of classroom practice from Ark Greenwich Free School, you’ll be provided with a series of prompts and pauses for reflection throughout. Use these prompts individually, or with colleagues, to contemplate the teacher’s practice. 

Once you’ve watched the video, take some time to reflect on what the teacher has done, how they’ve done it, what they might have done differently, and how this might influence your own practice whether you’re establishing or revisiting your questioning approaches.


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    1. Brualdi A (1998) Classroom questions. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation. 6(6) Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol6/iss1/6/ (accessed 07 January 2020)
    2. Lemov D (2015) Teach Like a Champion 2.0 – 62 Techniques that put students on the path to college. Jossey-Bass. USA.
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