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It is observed many times that students do not ask the right questions in the classroom. They just attend the lectures passively. Rather than asking the questions o get their doubt cleared, they assume something else and then get their concepts wrong. Should the students in a math class be encouraged to ask useful questions? Is it worth the effort in persuading and forcing the students to ask genuine questions?

Here are a few reasons which I found useful-

  1. Asking questions makes the class more interactive rather than just passive learning.
  2. Asking proper questions makes the students engage more deeply with math, which results in more critical thinking.

Are there any more aspects apart from the above listed, to the benefits of asking questions?

Thanks in advance for the help :-)

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    $\begingroup$ FYI, people's experience (both as a student and as a teacher) regarding students' asking questions in class lectures is probably more varied than you realize, and much of what you've written suggests to me that your experience is vastly different from mine, which is that teachers (especially of pre-college classes and introductory college classes) are definitely expected to play a very active role in generating classroom discussions. However, methods for doing this are certainly worth investigating, since what works best for Teacher A in Class X might be disastrous for Teacher B in Class Y. $\endgroup$ May 20 at 16:12
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Should the students in a math class be encouraged to ask useful questions?

Yes.

Is it worth the effort in persuading and forcing the students to ask genuine questions?

No, that's the wrong approach. You can't force someone to ask genuine questions; that won't aid their learning. And persuasion isn't really relevant. Encouragement, yes, but that's different from persuasion.

The best approach is to coax into action the student's mind to ask questions, to derive material from the basic principles presented, to discover things for themselves.

As to HOW to do that, it's not easy to put into a can. This is actually, in my opinion, the key attribute that makes for an excellent teacher: they can prompt the student to ask questions for themselves.

It's not that the questions themselves are beneficial. It's that an inquisitive attitude toward the subject, and mental participation with the learning process, are beneficial, and these attributes will of course manifest in the form of questions (among other ways). Forcing the student to ask questions for the sake of asking questions misses this point.

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From our experience we have seen that most of the times they do not understand what to ask. And this is basically because students usually feel disconnected with the subject. To change that, we think that some fun way or activity based introduction of concepts is necessary. That boosts their capability to engage - and along the way learns to think and question.

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