Principles and Theories of Teaching and Learning

Principles of Teaching

A. The meaning of Principle

In the field of education, principles explain educational process, show how things are done and how educational outcomes are achieved.

To an individual, once a principle is understood and accepted, it serves as his guide in reflective thinking and his choice of activities or actions. Actions change thins in the direction of unity and stability. To effect change, actions must be stimulated, directed, guided and evaluated by leading sound principles.

B. Major categories of teaching principles:
1. Starting Principles
- involve the nature of the child, his psychological and physiological endowments which make learning possible.
2. Guiding principles.
- refer to procedures, methods of instruction or the various techniques by which the pupils and the teacher work together toward the realization of the goals and objectives of education.
3. Ending Principles
- refer to the educational aims, goals, objectives, outcomes and purpose of the whole educational process to which teaching and learning are directed.

The Learning Process

Nature of Learning-
It is an integrated, ongoing process occurring within an individual, enabling him to meet specific aims, fulfill his needs and interests, and cope with the living process.

Phases of the learning Process

1. Unfreezing – the learner is prepared to consider changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior
2. Problem diagnosis – the forces which support the need for change and the forces working against the need for change are identified and presented.
3. Goal Setting – statement of desired changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior.
4. New Behavior – The individual learns and practices those never knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior which are desired.
5. Unfreezing – The never learnings have been found to be beneficial and are assimilated into the individual’s ongoing framework of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior.

Characteristics of Learning
1. Learning is developmental
2. Learning is interactive
3. Learning is basic

· Learning is the core/product of the teaching-learning process.
- As a product, it refers to the outcome of learning experience:
knowledge, understating, abilities, skills, habits, attitudes and appreciations
- It includes changes in what the learner knows, feels, believes, values and what he does
- As a process, it is acquisition, relation and application of knowledge, skills, attitudes, ways of thinking or some other types of new response (Kolesnik)

Basic Principles in the Teaching-Learning Process
1. Motivation
- An individual needs to be motivated to learn
- Excessive motivation is less effective than moderate motivation
- Intrinsic motivation is preferable to extrinsic motivation

Principles on Motivating Learners
1. Goal – setting is an important motivational aspect of learning.
2. Successful experiences are effective motivators for learning
3. Feedback about one’s progress can be an effective motivation.
4. Considering learner’s interest is important in classroom learning.
5. Reward rather than punishment is a better motivator for learning.
6. Meaningful materials and tasks serve as good motivators.
7. Teacher’s expectations of the learner’s performance influence the latter’s achievement.

2. Reinforcement
- Learning is strengthened either by rewards or punishment.
3. Exercise/Practice [what is learned in order to remember]
- In fixing skills, distributed practice is more advantageous than mass practice.
- Thorndike’s law of exercise states that constant repetition of a response strengthens its connection with the stimulus and disuse of a response weakens it.
· Educational practices that exemplify this principles: drill, review and examination [to be made an integral part of teaching and learning]
4. Participation
- Learners are actively involved in activities they select and plan.
- Learning by doing is important
5. Meaningfulness
- Activities and materials used by the teacher are meaningful when these are related to the needs and goals of the learners.
6. Feedback
- Information about performance, mistakes and success assist the teacher in planning instruction and motivates learners in pursuing the activities.
7. Individual Differences
- Every individual is unique
- Good teaching is based on the psychology of learning
- Provisions are made to meet individual differences
- Readiness to learn varies among learners
8. Challenge
- Learning is facilitated when the learner is challenged by activities characterized by high level skills he/she is capable of
- Learner should be stimulated to think and reason.
9. Variety
- Learner’s attention is sustained by varying styles of stimuli
- Provide learning experiences or situations that will ensure understanding
- Expose learners to alternative models used by other individual so they can refine and modify their personal learning style so that these can be employed more effectively.
10. Socialization
- Learners learn a great deal from each other.
Behavior Learning Theories

1. Classical Conditioning Theory [Ivan Pavlov]
- Learning occurs by pairing a neutral stimulus with a stimulus that automatically elicits a response until the originally neutral stimulus come to elicit the same response given to the unconditioned stimulus.
- Learning/ behavior is a result of two stimuli being presented at the same time.
2. Connectionism Theory
- Learning is the formation of connections or bonds between stimuli or responses.
- The Law of Effects states that if an act is followed by a satisfying result/outcome, it is more likely to be repeated in a similar situation.
- If an act result in an unfavorable result/outcome it is less likely to be repeated.
3. Operant Conditioning Theory
- Learning occurs when the individual makes desired responses because he is rewarded for doi9ng so and he avoids undesired response because he is not rewarded or punished for making a desired response.
- Learning is controlled by consequences/conditions that follow a behavior and affect the frequency of future behavior.

Principles in Behavioral Learning Theories
  1. Consequence
- Behavior changes depending on its immediate consequence
- Reinforcer is any consequence that strengthens or increases frequency of behavior.
- Premack Principle
- linking less desired to more desired activities e.g. work on your assignment first so you can go and play.
- Other types of reinforcers:
Primary reinforcers – Secondary reinforcers
Positive reinforcers – Negative reinforcers
Intrinsic reinforcers – Extrinsic reinforcers

- Punished are consequences that weaken behavior
1. Presentation punishment
2. Removal punishment or Time Out

2. Immediacy of Consequences
- Consequence/s that follow a behavior closely in time affect behavior than delayed consequence/s. e.g. immediate feedback increases its informational value.
3. Shaping is reinforcing learner’s behavior gradually until the desired behavior is realized
4. Extinction
- Behavior decreases when reinforcement is removed.

Application of Behavioral Learning Theories in Teaching
1. Provide a positive classroom environment.
2. Help students to be successful.
3. Present particular anxiety-arousing tasks slowly and gradually while learners are happy and relaxed.
4. Provide more practice of behavior.
5. Reinforce desirable behaviors.
6. Different things have different reinforcing effects to different learners.
7. When the baseline level of a desired behavior is low, gradually shape the behavior overtime by reinforcing the desired behavior.
8. Use continuous reinforcement to help students acquire a new response.
9. When students generalize inappropriately, help them learn to discriminate among stimuli that require different response.
10. Avoid inadvertent reinforcement of undesirable behavior.

Social Learning Theories
- Learning occurs by observing others
- Behavior is directed toward particular goals that people have set for themselves
- Behavior eventually becomes self-regulated
Observational, Modeling and Initiation Learning Theory
- Imitation learning occurs when one person attentively observes another behavior with the intention of trying to act in a similar manner
- Modeling is the teacher’s behavior that corresponds to the learner’s initiative learning

Classification of Models
  1. Real life – exemplified by teachers, parents, etc.
  2. Symbolic – exemplified by oral or written symbols
  3. Representational – exemplified by audio-visual means.

Principles in Social Learning Theory
  1. Vicarious Learning – an individual learns from observing the consequences of other’s behaviors.
  2. Self-regulation – people observe their own behavior, judge it against their own standards and reinforce or punish themselves.

Application of Bondura’s Theory
- Model desirable behavior.
- Make sure that students are paying attention and thinking of/about the model.
- Provide descriptive labels for models.
- Make sure the learners are physically capable of doing what you ask.
- Mechanism to help students remember the behavior should be provided.
- Modeling undesirable behavior should be avoided.
- Learners should be exposed to a variety of exemplary lines and symbols.

Cognitive Learning Theories
- Learning theories that are related to processes that go on within the mind of learners involve: recognizing, knowing, remembering and using knowledge
- Learning is an integral process that may or may not result in behavior change.
- Individuals are likely involved in their own learning
- Individuals are selective about the things they possess and learn

1. Information Processing learning Theory [Alkinson & Shiffrin]
- cognitive theory of learning that describes the processing storage and retrieval of knowledge from the mind

Components of the Memory Register:
A. Sensory register – holds memories linked to the senses
B. Short-term or working memory – stores facts and generalized knowledge in the form of schemas.
C. Procedural memory – stores knowledge of how to do things

2. Cumulative Learning Theory [Gagne]
- A cognitive theory of learning which states that learning occurs as the individual develops high levels skills that build successively on lower skills.
3. Meaningful Learning Theory
- Learning occurs by relating newly acquired information to what is already known.

- Dimensions of learning:
A. The way by which the knowledge to be learned is made available to the learner.
B. The way by which the learner incorporates new information into the existing knowledge.

- Conditions of Meaningful Learning
· Meaningful learning – sets the attitude that one can make sense out of the information to be learned.
· Relevant prior knowledge – contains information to which a new idea can be related.
· Organization – finding connections among the various pieces of information one needs to learn.
· Elaboration – expanding on new information based on what one already knows.
· Visual imagery – forming a mental picture of information

Principles of cognitive Learning Theories
- Transfer - Overlearning
- Retention - Meaningfulness
- Practice - Schema
- Automatically

Application of Principles to Classroom Situations:
- Teacher should make sure that students are paying attention.
- It must be remembered that students can process only so much information at a time.
- Learners must know what material is most important to learn.
- The same information should be presented in more than one form.
- Focus on an in-depth understanding of key ideas.
- Learners must be shown how new materials related to what they already know.
- Organize the information to be presented.
- Students should be encourage to elaborate on class material.

Constructivist Theories of Learning
- Learners must individually discover and transform complex information.
- Learners check new information against old rules and revise rules when they no longer work.

Principles of Constructivist learning theory (Slavin)
  1. Learning is -
- a natural process of pursuing personally meaningful goals
- a process of discovering and constructing meaning from information and experience filtered through each individual unique perceptions, thoughts and feelings.
2. The learner -
- seeks to create meaningful and coherent representations of knowledge regardless of the quantity and quality of data available.
- organizes information in ways that associate and link new information with existing knowledge in uniquely meaningful ways.
3. Employ higher order strategies for thinking about thinking.
4. Facilitate creative and critical thinking and development of expertise.
5. The depth and breadth of information processed and what and how much is learned is
influenced by-
    1. self-awareness and beliefs about personal competence and ability
    2. clarity and saliency of personal values interests and goals.
    3. Personal expectations of success or failure
    4. Emotion and general states of mind
    5. Motivation to learn
  1. Individuals are naturally curious and enjoy learning in the absence of intense cognitions and emotions.
  2. Curiosity, creativity and higher order thinking processes are stimulated by relevant authentic learning tasks of optimal difficulty, challenges and novelty for each student.
  3. Learners development is a function of unique, genetic and environmental factors.
  4. Learning is facilitated by social instruction and communication with others in a variety of flexible diverse and adoptive instructional settings.
  5. Learning and self-esteem are heightened when individuals are in respectful and caring relationships with others who see their potential/s, genuinely appreciate their unique talents and accepts them as individuals.
  6. Learners differ in their preferences for learning work, strategies and unique capabilities in particular areas.
  7. Personal thoughts, beliefs and understandings resulting from prior learning and unique inter relations become each individual’s basis for constructing reality and interpreting life experiences.

Applications of constructivist learning Theories
  1. Emphasize generative learning, questioning or inquiry strategies and other meta cognitive skills.
  2. Use discovery self-learning, curiosity and creative problem solving.
  3. Use scaffolding to assist learners at critical points in their learning.
  4. Create a culture of thinking in the classroom.
  5. Arrange for cooperative learning structure that reward both group and individual effort and improvement.

Principles in Teaching The Different Types of Learning Outcomes.
1. Principles in Teaching Factual information
A. Principle of Organization
- Organize material into appropriate learning units of thought and meaningful associations.
- Use advance organizers to establish a transition from old to new information.
B. Principle of Practice
- Help learners develop methods of evaluating their own response.

2. Principle in Teaching Concepts and Principles
Concept – essentially an idea or an understanding of what a thing is. It is organized information about the properties of one or more things.
Principle – the relationship among two or more concepts.

Classification of principles
    1. Cause and effect – if-then relationship
    2. Probability- prediction on actual sense
    3. Correlation – prediction based on wide range of phenomena
    4. Axioms – rules

Instance of concepts are:
Positive – specific example of a concept
Negative – non-examples of a concept

Characteristics of concepts are:
Defining characteristics present in all examples
Correlational characteristics present in many positive instances of concepts but not essential for concept understanding.
Irrelevant characteristics – totally unrelated to qualifications for concept membership.

Principles and in Teaching Concepts

A. Principle of Concept Attributes
- Help children identify the critical attributes.
- Arrange instructional activities so that students can directly observe instances of the concept.
- Use adequate examples and non-examples in which attributes of the concept stands out.
B. Principle of Correct Language for Concept Application:
- Teach the relevant names associated with both concept and attributes.
C. Principle of Sequence
- Present a larger number of instances of one concept.
- Present combination of positive and negative instances of the concept rather than all positive or all negative instances.
- Present instances of concepts simultaneously rather than successively.
- Proceed from simple to complex examples by reducing the number of attributes and gradually increasing them.
- Proceed from concrete to abstract.
D. Principle of Guided Discovery
- Present real and meaningful problems.
- Guide the learners in gathering information.
- Provide a responsive environment in which learners get accurate feedback promptly.
E. Principle of Applications
- Utilize learner’s experiences.
- Provide opportunities for observation of related situations.
- Provide like-like situations for application of concepts.
F. Principles of Independent Evaluation
- Create an attitude of seeking and searching.
- Assist learners in finding ways and means of evaluating not only their concepts but also their methods of evaluating them.

Problem-Solving Skills
Problem – felt difficulty or a question for which a solution may be found only by a process of thinking.
Reasoning – productive thinking in which previous experiences are organized or combined in new ways to solve a problem.
Problem-Solving – occurs when there is an abstraction of some sort to the attainment of an objective.

Principles in Teaching Problem-solving Skills

A. Principles of Variety
- Expressing oneself by figural, verbal, physical means is essential for the production of novel forms of ideas.
- Encourage divergent production and expression in different media
- Develop a continuing program for developing creative abilities
- Display creative behavior. Set an example of curiosity and inquiry.
B. Principle of Success
- Experiencing success in creative efforts is associated with a high level of creative expression.
- Reward creative efforts
- Respect unusual questions
- Respect imaginative, creative ideas
Psychomotor Learning

Principles in Learning Psychomotor Skills

A. Principle of Attention
- Attending to the characteristics of the skill and assessing one’s own related abilities facilitate the learning of the skill.
- Analyze the skills in terms of learner abilities and developmental level.
B. Principle of Observing
- Observing and imitating a model facilities initial learning of skills movements.
C. Principle of Guidance
- Guide initial responses verbally and physically
D. Principle of Practice
- Practicing undesirable conditions, facilitates the learning of skills through eliminating errors and strengthening and refining correct response and form.
E. Principle of Feedback
- Securing feedback facilitates skill learning through providing knowledge or result.
F. Principle of Self-Evaluation
- Encourage independent evaluation
- Learners discuss and analyze their own performances

Affective Learning
- Affective – involves emotions or expressions of feelings rather than thought.
- Affective Learning – consist or responses acquired as one evaluates the meaning of an idea, object, person or events in terms of his view of the world.

Principles on Developing Attitudes and Values

A. Principle of Attention
- Recognizing an attitude facilitates learning.
- Identify and list the attitudes and values to be taught.
- Define the terminal behavior your want the students to achieve.

B. Principles of Observation
- Provide exemplary models
- Examine instructional materials carefully – in terms of attitudes and values presented.
- Set a good example.

C. Principle of Positive Attitude
- Feeling pleasantly about person, event or object influences one’s attitude toward it.
- Provide for pleasant emotional experiences
- Show warmth and enthusiasm toward students
- Keep personal prejudices under control
- Demonstrate interest in subject matter
- Make possible for each student to experience success

D. Principle of getting Information
- Getting information about a person, event of object influences one’s attitude toward it.
- Extend informative experiences
- Provide direct experiences
- Provide group lectures, discussions and reading assignments

E. Principle of Interacting
- Interacting in primary groups influences initial attitude learning and promotes later commitment to group help.
- Use group techniques to facilitate commitment.
- Encourage group decision-making.

F. Principle of Practice
- Practicing an attitude provides for stable organization.
- Arrange for appropriate practice context.
- As an exemplary model, the teacher should manifest a lively and favorable interest in the students.
- Confirm responses with verbal statements, positive remarks, approving nod or smile.

Desirable Conditions for Learning:
1. Motivation
2. Transfer of Learning
- occurs when whatever is learned in one situation is used in a new or different situation.

  • Types of Transfer:
a. Lateral Transfer – the individual is able to perform a novel task of about the same level.
b. Vertical Transfer – the individual is able to learn/perform more advanced/complex skills.
· Theories
a. Formal discipline theory – memory, reason, will and imagination could be strengthen through practice.
b. Identical elements theory – facts, skills, and methods present in the original learning situation must be present in new learning.
c. Generalization theory – explains the use of principles in new situations.
d. Transportation theory – understanding of the relationships among facts, processes and principles become the bases of transfer.

Principles of Transfer

- attaining concepts and principles and developing abilities facilitate vertical and lateral transfer
- applying newly acquired concepts, principles and abilities increase retention and transfer
Instructional Planning

- Instructional planning or teacher planning is basically decision-making.
- Planning is deciding what and how a teacher wants his/her students to learn.
- Planning is a personal process, therefore, no two teachers will construct the same plans.
- Instructional planning then, is the process of sorting, selecting, balancing and synthesizing information from many sources in order to design instructional experiences that will assist learners in attaining the goals and objectives that will meet their needs.

Principles of Instructional Planning
1. Need-Oriented 9. success
2. Relevance 10. Clarity
3. Congruence 11. Variety
4. Motivation 12. Coordination
5. Unity 13. Cooperative Planning
6. Integration 14. Flexibility
7. Experienced-based 15. Balance
8. Individualism 16. Economy

Types of Plans (often used by teacher)

1. Course Plan
- is a long ranged plan
- provides the general framework within which the work of the quarter and year will be carried out.
2. Unit Plan
- clarifies what content will be taught and by what learning experiences during a specific period of time.
It Uses:
1. It enables teachers to plan experiences in advance to meet different objectives
2. It helps teachers anticipate problems that may arise.

3. The Daily Lesson Plan
a. refers to each day plan which has to do with the specific part of the unit to be dealt with during a given class period.
b. covers a small part of a larger experience extending over days.

Types of Daily lesson Plan
1. Detailed
2. Semi-detailed
3. Brief

Essential Elements of a Good Daily Lesson Plan
The daily lesson plan should:
1. indicate a clear understanding of the aims to be achieved;
2. definitely correlate the new lesson to the previous work of the course;
3. provide for the selection and organization of subject matter, materials and activities;
4. indicate the application of appropriate teaching procedures to the lesson;
5. provide the proper evaluation of success in the realization of the aims and objectives;
6. project today’s lesson into tomorrow’s situation;
7. contain provision to meet individual differences
8. have provision for review or drill
9. include the assignment for the students

Basic Parts of a daily lesson Plan
1. Specific Objectives
2. Subject Matter
3. Materials to be used
4. Procedure
A. Preparatory Activity
B. Developmental Activity
C. Concluding Activity

Instructional Objectives
- help the teacher focus on what students should learn or develop at the end of the lesson;
- help students know what is expected of the lesson;
- help teacher plan for teaching and organize instruction. (to identify what to teach and how to teach)

Components of Specific Objectives
1. Behavior or performance
2. Condition
3. Proficiency level or criterion

Classification of Learning in Three domains
1. Cognitive Domain
2. Affective domain
3. Psychomotor Domain

What it is – the key to learning…. And teaching
- something teachers have to inspire students with;
- something teachers have to keep from extinguishing
- is a number of ideas that direct an individual to act or do something
- the desire to approach or avoid something
- statement of desires, goals, likes, dislikes, wants and fears
- energizes, directs and sustains behavior.
- a process which belongs to the learner, in which energies produced by needs are expanded in the direction of goals.

Factors That Determine Motivation of School Learning
- the learner’s purpose/intent to learn
- the learner’s self-concept and self-confidence
- the learner’s level of aspiration
- the learner’s knowledge and appraisal of how well he is doing in relation to this goals.

Types of Motivation
1. Intrinsic – an internal stimulus to learning

Motives – are thoughts, feelings or conditions that cause one to act.

Common forms of Intrinsic Motivation
- desire for knowledge
- desire to explore
- desire to construct

2. Extrinsic Motivation – is an external stimulus to learning activity.

Incentive – is a stimulus that gives rise to a motive.

Important Points concerning Motivation
- the learner must be motivated before learning takes place
- motivation should be made an integral part of teaching and learning processes.
- motives and incentives are potent factors in motivation
- motivation is more effective if positive stimulation in the form of praise or rewards is given…
- competition and rivalry are often used as drives to stimulate learning
- continuous motivation is essential in developing concentration of attention
- motivation is important, not only as an energizer and director of learning, but as a habit….
- motivation is more important, not only as an energizer and director of learning, but as a habit….
- motivation is more effective if it is based on immediate goals rather than on remote goals or objective
- motivation is effective if it is self-initiated
- motivation is effective if it employs a variety of motivational devices and techniques and a variety of instructional materials

School Discipline

Every phase of school management is closely related to school discipline. A well-ordered classroom is likely to be free from disciplinary problems.

Discipline is – associated with wholesome class conduct
- always connected with a goal
- maybe thought of as an organization of one’s impulses for the attainment of a goal
- is the process or result of directing or subordinating immediate wishes, impulses, desires or interests for the sake of an ideal.
- means preparing boys and girls for life in a democratic society

How to Improve Classroom Discipline
1. formulate objectives in terms of behavioral changes desired.
2. Structure the classroom so as to make it conducive to mental health.
3. Provide interesting activities for the learners.
4. make use of personality and personal influence and maintain proper personal attitude.
5. Build-up a school spirit.
6. Confer with the pupil.
7. Stimulate group responsibility.
8. Correct attitude on the part of the teacher.
9. provide proper routine.

Management of Change

Change takes place. Our only choice is whether we plan for it and direct it as best we can to our purposes or allow it to simply happen randomly and salvage what we can in response.

1. Resistance to change
whether in the classroom among students or among peers or co-teachers, reasons for resisting
changes would fall under any of the following.
a. Parochial self-interest
b. Misunderstanding or lack of trust
c. Different assessment
d. Lower tolerance for change

2. The response to resistance to change would be:
Diagnose Educate Communicate
3. Factors that should be considered before initiating changes
a. Obtain assistance from someone with a proven record.
b. Obtain inputs from as many of the people as possible whose commitment will be important to the success of the program.
c. Seek assistance from people outside the organization who may have useful knowledge about your problems and opportunities.
d. Consider all the alternative effects the changes will have on your key people.
e. Give attention to trouble shooting and positioning changes for the greatest support and effect.
4. Responsibility for implementing planned change most often falls on managers. Whatever change is planned, it is good to remember the following:
a. Most people are driven toward personal and development growth.
b. Most people like to be accepted and enjoy interaction with other people and groups.
c. Suppressed feelings adversely affect an individual’s effectiveness, growth, and satisfaction.
d. Individual learners are important. Reinforce their sense of self-respect.
e. The desire to make greater contribution is widespread to people.
5. Strategies for Facilitating Change
a. Legitimate authority
b. Educative change strategy
c. Rational or self-interest
People, especially students, need only to be involved, to be informed, to be motivated, and to be given feedback in order to participate actively in an effort for change.


There are six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and questions at each level require the person responding to use a different kind of thought process.
Teachers should be able to formulate questions on each of these six levels to encourage their students to engage in a variety of cognitive processes.
The six levels are: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.


  • Requires the student to recall information
  • Students is not asked to manipulate information
  • To answer a question on the knowledge level, student must simply remember facts, observations, and definitions previously learned

Examples of knowledge Questions

What is the capital of Biliran?
What color did the solution become when we added the second chemical?
Who wrote Hamlet?
Enumerate the presidents of this university since 1921.

Words often found in knowledge questions:
Define who list name
recall what identify reproduce
recognize where recite
remember when review

*Answer the exercise*


  • Questions require the student to demonstrate sufficient understanding to organize and arrange material mentally
  • To answer a comprehension level question, the student must go beyond recall of information
  • Student must demonstrate personal grasp of the material by rephrasing it, give description in his/her own words, and use it in making comparisons
  • Frequently asks students to interpret and translate material presented in charts, graphs, tables, and cartoons.
  • Requires the student to translate ideas from one medium to another
  • It is important to remember that the information necessary to answer comprehension questions should have been provided to the student

Examples of Comprehension questions:
What is the main idea that his chart presented?
Describe in your own words what the writer is saying in this cartoon.

Words often found in comprehension questions
describe rephrase
compare put in your own words
contrast explain the main idea

*Answer the exercise*


It is enough for students to be able to memorize information or even to rephrase and interpret what they have memorized. Students must be able to apply information.

  • A question that asks a student to apply previously learned information to reach an answer to a problem is at the application level of the taxonomy.
  • Application questions require students to apply a rule or process to a problem and thereby to determine the single right answer to that problem
  • In mathematics, application questions are quite common.
Example: If X= 2 and y = 5, Then X2 + 2y = ?

Examples of Application Questions:

According to our definition of socialism, which of the following nations would be considered socialist today?
Write an example of the harassment policy we have just discussed.
In this case, which of Newton’s Law is being demonstrated?
If Brian works 3 hours to wash the car, and it takes Alicia only 2 hours, how many hours would it take to wash the car together?

Words often found in application questions
Apply employ what is demonstrate
Classify show solve diagram/map
Use translate how many record/chart
Choose which teach write an example

*Answer the exercise*


  • analysis questions are a higher order of questions that require students to think critically and in depth.
  • analysis questions asks students to identify reasons, uncover evidence, and reach conclusions
  • several answers are possible
  • because analysis questions take time to think and analyze, these questions cannot be answered quickly
  • the fact that several answers are possible and that sufficient time is needed to answer them in indication that analysis questions are higher order questions

Examples of 3 Kinds of Analysis Questions:

1.) To identify the motives, reasons, and / or causes for a specific occurrence

What factors influenced the writings of Anne Frank?
Why did the senator decide not to run for the presidency?
How do your personal finances respond to economic upswings?

2.) To consider and analyze available information to reach a conclusion, inference or
organization based on this information

After reading this story, how would you characterize the author’s background, attitude, and point of view?
Look at this new invention. What do you think the purpose of this invention is?
After studying about major developments in south Africa and China,
what can you now conclude about the various causes of revolutionary change?
3.) To analyze a conclusion, inference, or generalization to find evidence to support or refute it

Which of the speaker’s point support affirmative action?
How did the role play promote cultural understanding?
What evidence can you cite to validate that smoking is more harmful than drinking alcohol?

Words frequently found in analysis questions

Identify motives or causes categorize / dissect why
Draw conclusions compare / contrast deduce
Determine evidence order / sequence investigate
Support summarize justify

*Answer the exercise*


  • synthesis questions are higher order questions that ask students to perform original and creative thinking
  • require students to produce original communications, make predictions, solve problems
  • although application questions also require students to solve problems, synthesis questions differ because they do not require a single correct answer, but instead, allow a variety of creative answers
  • use synthesis questions to help develop the creative abilities of students
  • synthesis questions rely on a thorough understanding of materials. Students should not make wild guesses to answer synthesis questions

Examples of Different Kinds of Synthesis Questions:

1.) To produce original communication

Construct a college of pictures that represent your values and feelings.
What would be a descriptive and exciting name for this game?
Write an e-mail to a local newspaper editor about materialism.

2.) To make predictions

How would your life be different if school were not mandatory?
What would the US be like if the south had won the civil war?

3.) To solve problems

How would you measure the height of a building without being able to go into it?
How can we successfully raise money to fund our reunion?
Design a musical instrument with materials found in our laboratory that effectively demonstrates three principles of physics.

Words often found in synthesis questions

predict how can we improve…? create
produce what would happen if….? imagine
write can you devise…? hypothesize
design how can we solve…? combine
develop synthesize estimate

*Answer the exercise*


  • like analysis and synthesis, evaluation is a higher order mental process
  • evaluation questions do not necessary have a single correct answer
  • questions require the student to judge the merit of an idea, a solution to a problem or an aesthetic work
  • to express an opinion or make a judgment on the merit of an idea, a solution, or aesthetic work, some criteria is used – either objective standards or a personal set of values
  • may also ask a student to offer an opinion on an issue

Examples of Evaluation Questions

Decide why young children should or should not be allowed to read any book they want
How do you assess your performance at school?
Give three reasons that support why this picture is your best.
Taking the role of cultural critic for your local radio station, offer reviews of three current movies.
Which senator is the most effective, and why?

Words often used in evaluation questions

Judge give your opinion verify
Argue which is the better picture rate
Decide which is the better solution select
Evaluate do you agree recommend
Assess would it be better… conclude


The following questions will test your understanding and your ability to classify questions correctly at the knowledge level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. In questions 1-5, mark a T for true and an F for false statements.

_1. The first level of Bloom’s Taxonomy requires higher-order thinking.
_2. Most classroom and test questions that teachers ask are memory questions.
_3. A drawback to knowledge, or memory, questions is that they are unimportant.
_4. Knowledge, or memory, questions are important because they are necessary steps on the way to more complex, higher-order questions.
_5. All the questions asked so far (1-4) are on the first level of the Taxonomy-knowledge and

Mark a K in the space in front of those questions that are at the knowledge level and a “-“ for those that are not.

_6. Who discovered a cure for yellow fever?
_7. Can you analyze the causes of the Gulf War?
_8. Where does the country get most of its oil from?
_9. What does this music mean to you?
_10. Define antediluvian. (The class has previously been given the definition of this word.)
_11. Can you think of a title for this painting?
_12. What do you think might happen to teachers if a recession were to continue over several years?


In questions 1-4, mark a T for true and an F for false statements.

_1. A comprehensions question may require the student to use new information not previously provided.
_2. Comprehension questions may require students to rephrase information.
_3. It is possible to remember a definition without being able to put the definition in your own words.
_4. A comprehension question asks students to recall information exactly as they have learned it.

Some of the following questions are at the knowledge level and others are at the comprehension level. Write a C next to those questions on the comprehension level and a K next to those questions on the knowledge level.

_5. When did the Berlin Wall come down?
_6. Use a Venn diagram to compare whales and sharks.
_7. What is the meaning of this cartoon?
_8. Who is the author of The Color Purple?
_9. Describe what we saw on our visit to the planetarium.
_10. Explain in your own words what the speaker suggest are the main reasons for the “internet explosion.”


Indicate the level of the Taxonomy that each of the following questions represents. Use a K for those at the knowledge level, C for those at the comprehension level, and Ap for those at the application level.

_1. What does freedom of speech mean to you?
_2. Using the internet, locate the university’s web page.
_3. Who is the author of The Joy Luck Club?
_4. If these figures are correct, will the company make a profit or suffer a loss?
_5. Categorize the plants according to the classification system we reviewed.
_6. Having read about runners and swimmers, clarify the similarities shared by these athletes.
If you would like extra practice, the additional questions will provide you with that opportunity.

Additional Questions
_7. Solve the problem by using the procedure we discussed in conflict resolution.
_8. Rephrase the definition of CPR.
_9. Restate the three safety steps we have learned that should be followed on a mountain hike.
_10. According to our definition of a mammal, which of the five animals in the photo would be considered a mammal?


_1. Analysis questions call for higher-order thinking.
_2. Which of the following processes is not required by analysis questions? (a) identifying evidence to support a statement, (b) making a statement based on evidence, (c) explaining motives or cause, (d) making evaluations.
_3. “Why” questions are often on the analysis level. (true or false)
_4. Analysis questions require students to use or rephrase information, to state it in their own words. (true or false)
___5. Analysis questions require students to use or locate evidence in formulating their answers. (true or false)

Identify the levels of the following questions (K

Knowledge, C

Comprehension, Ap

Application, An


_6. Why didn’t Hamlet act when he first learned of the treachery?
(The reasons have not been discussed in the class.)
_7. What was Hamlet’s position or title in Denmark?
_8. In your own words, how did we characterize Hamlet in yesterday’s discussion?
_9. What evidence can you now propose to support the statement that Hamlet was a coward?
___10. According to our definition of moral dilemma, when did Hamlet confront a moral dilemma?


In questions 1 – 10, identify the level of the question by using the code provided (K

Knowledge, C

Comprehension, Ap

Application, An

Analysis, and S = Synthesis).

_1. What is the capital of our country?
_2. Where is it located?
_3. Point it out on the map.
_4. If you could decide on a location for a new capital, what location would you choose?
_5. Why?
_6. What would happen if we had two capitals?
_7. Draw a simple blueprint of your ideal capital.
_8. Quote what your textbook says about the primary function of a country’s capital.
_9. Describe this primary function.
_10.Given the categories of different kinds of capitals, how would you classify the capital of Tokyo?
_11. Synthesis questions require students to do all of the following except
(a) Make predictions
(b) Solve problems
(c) Rely primarily on memory
(d) Construct original communication
_12. Synthesis questions require original and creative thought from students. (true or false)


Using all levels of the Taxonomy classify the following questions(K

Knowledge, C

comprehension, Ap

Application, An

Analysis, S

Synthesis, and E


_1. Who was the first founder of the school of abstract art?
_2. Describe the first attempts of the pioneers of abstract art.
_3. Paint your own abstract piece.
_4. What is your opinion of abstract art?
_5. Which native crafts are most like these abstract oils?
_6. Why have women been a central image of abstract art?
___7. Which artist do you prefer, Mino or Picasso?

Hot Tips for Asking Effective Questions
By Ronald L. Partin

A substantial body of research affirms questions are still the most frequently used teaching tool. However, all questions are not created equally. Some are highly effective; others can be useless or even harmful. There is an art and a science to effective questioning. Here are some tips gleaned from outstanding teachers and research that will improve your use of questions.

  • As part of your lesson planning, list the processing questions you plan to ask. Effectively worded questions can make a good lesson superb. Develop a logic to the sequence of your questions. Strive for clarity on your questions.
  • Challenge the total class to make a mental response when you ask a question, pause, then select the person to respond. Choosing the answerer randomly provides the opportunity for even the shyest child to become involved in the class discussion.
  • It is best for the teacher to build upon small successes by asking open-ended questions rather than a factual-recall questions. Unfortunately, it has been observed that teachers ask low-ability students fewer questions and praise them less often when they respond correctly.
  • Wait three seconds after directing a question before saying anything else. Permitting the student a reasonable amount of thinking time is essential. The length and quality of students’ responses increase when teachers allow increased wait time.
  • Use closed-ended questions when you are seeking information, facts, or a commitment. In attempting to assess student mastery of specific facts, the closed-ended question is most effective. Generally, avoid, “yes” of “no” question in your lessons.
  • Open-ended questions (beginning with “how”, “why”, or “what”) usually allow greater latitude in the student’s response with a variety of possible answers. (How can air pollution be decreased? Why do people change careers?) A single correct answer does not exist. Such open-ended questions are most crucial in stimulating students’ creative abilities and developing higher level cognitive processes such as evaluation, analysis and synthesis.
  • What the teacher does after a student responds to a question is going to significantly influence the group discussion process. Students who are insulted and intimidated are going to become increasingly reluctant to become involved in discussions. People, including students, have a right to make mistakes and a responsibility to lean from those mistakes. A positive class climate is attained when students feel accepted and sufficiently open to take risks-even at the price of sometimes being incorrect.
  • Encourage students to respond in some fashion, even if they aren’t completely sure of the answer. Rephrase the question the question or provide cues, but don’t just accept, “I don’t know.”
  • Probe students’ responses for clarification and to stimulate further reflection. “why?” is an effective probing question to force the student to a deeper level of thought.
  • Avoid multiple questions. Barraging students with a series of questions often only confuses them and obscures the purpose of the lesson.
  • One question at a time posed clearly and concisely will more likely yield a clear and concise response.
  • Effective teacher keep a balance between calling on volunteers and non-volunteers. Particularly, when it is likely many non-volunteers do know the answer, it is better to call on a non-volunteer.

  • Occasionally have all students jot down an answers to your question before calling upon one person to share the answer.
  • For variety have all students share their answers to your question in pairs or small groups. Have a few groups report their best answers to the whole class.
  • For classes of high-ability students difficult and challenging questions seem most effective. For mixed-ability classes, a mixture of higher order and lower cognitive level questions seem to work best.
  • Low-level cognitive questions seem to work best when you are teaching basic skills. Effective teachers asks a combination of both low- and high-level cognitive questions.
  • Strive to ask questions that yield a high level of correct responses; research suggests around 70% is the optimal success level. There is some evidence that the most successful strategy is to begin a lesson with lower level questions and to use higher level questions as the lesson progresses.
  • Learn to allow students to talk more. Typically, teacher-talk consumes 70% of class discussion time.
  • Acknowledge correct responses but be specific in your praise. Avoid the clihe “Very good” in response to every question. What exactly was appropriate or creative about the student’s response?
  • Occasionally ask the student to repeat the question before replying. This assures they are listening and understand the question,
  • Give students an equal opportunity to respond to your questions. Research shows students down the middle and across the front of the classroom get called on more frequently. Also , higher-ability students tend to get called on more than lower-ability students when they raise their hands.
  • There is research support for permitting call-out answers with lower SES students, particularly at the elementary level. Without having to ask permission to speak, lower ability students are more likely to contribute. A risk of permitting call-out responses is that a few students may dominate class discussions.
  • At higher SES classes, students should be acknowledge before giving their answers. These students are typically more assertive and eager to respond, creating more chaos.
  • Encourage students to ask questions. Real learning is most likely when students are genuinely curious and enthusiastically generate their own questions. Encourage them to ask questions of each other as well.
  • Be wary of asking “why” questions when used to confront misbehavior. When we ask “why” questions in reference to a person’s behavior (“Why did you do that?”) we are generally seeking an argument, not an explanation. This puts the student on the defensive. A “What are you doing?” question is more effective in focusing the student’s attention upon his/her misbehavior.