How can teachers help children to develop reasoning skills? What is reasoning and how do we teach it? Much is being said in schools and education about the importance of reasoning skills. This book explores what reasoning is and what it is not. It includes examples of how reasoning in primary mathematics and science classes can develop. It shows how a connection between the ‘skills’ of mathematics and science can help children to gain a better understanding of reasoning. What is a conjecture? What makes you think? What makes you think about your thinking? What does reasoning look like? With links to classroom practice and examples of effective teaching throughout, this book not only provides an exploration of what reasoning is and why it’s important - it also show you how to develop children’s reasoning skills in your classroom.

Using questions to promote reasoning

Using questions to promote reasoning

Using questions to promote reasoning

In this chapter

By the end of this chapter you will:

  • know that all questions are useful;
  • be clear about how questions in the classroom can lead to learners reasoning;
  • have considered a wide range of different types of questions;
  • have a developing toolkit of teaching approaches that all use questions to enable reasoning;
  • know why questioning is one of the skills of reasoning.


This chapter will ask you to reflect on the use of questions in the classroom in order to promote reasoning. It will encourage you to challenge the current use of questions in classrooms and suggest that the focus of questioning moves towards the children. Learners who are confident to question, who are not anxious about the need to ...

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