Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


Teachers use questions every day to assess their students’ knowledge, allow for more practice with critical thinking, and to help promote collaborative, meaningful classroom discussions. This observational study aims to analyze the effect that the level of science-based questioning the Head Teacher uses has on the level of science-based questioning the students use in a Montessori classroom while they are learning science topics/concepts and/or using science related materials. In this study, observations were performed on preschool aged students enrolled in a Montessori school in rural Maine. These observations consist of science-based questions the Head Teacher asked the students and the science-based questions the students asked their peers and their teachers while they were learning science/using science-related materials. These questions were then categorized using Bloom’s Taxonomy of Questions to determine the level of questioning that stemmed from the teacher, and how these levels of science-based questioning influenced the level of science-based questioning the students then used. This

study contributes to previously completed research on this topic, as it provides more information on the effect a teacher’s level of questioning has on the cognitive development of preschool aged students. This cognitive development of students shows through the level of questioning the students use in the classroom. This study is beneficial to both public school and Montessori school teachers, as it provides them with information on what kinds of science-based questions they should be asking their students to elicit higher level thinking/questioning and to develop all levels of thinking/questioning within the cognitive domain. The conclusions of this study do not display with 100% confidence that the Head Teacher’s level of science-based questioning was the only factor influencing the students’ level of science-based questioning, however, it does play a large role

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