Teacher Questioning Practices in Early Childhood Science Activities

Erin Hamel, Yuenjung Joo, Soo Young Hong, Anna Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study explores teachers’ use of questioning during collaborative science exploratory activities. We classified a total of 755 questions across 14 preschool science lessons implemented by four teachers by type (open- or closed-ended) and content (science or non-science related) while also recording the intended recipient. Results revealed that, overall, teachers primarily asked closed-ended questions to children during preschool science activities. While closed-ended questions outnumbered open-ended, science-related questions were more likely to be open-ended questions. We noticed this trend whether the teacher directed the question to a group of children or an individual child. Gender of the child recipient was also explored with no significant differences found. Results indicate that collaborative science exploratory activities may be an ideal context for increasing teacher’s use of open-ended questions. Background and training of teachers may also play a role in the use of open-ended questions in a science activity context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Early childhood
  • Questioning
  • Science
  • Teaching strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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