16-Penny Sturtevant and Strategic Questioning


For the past 30 years, Penny Sturtevant has been a science teacher, a guidance counselor, an assistant principal, a principal, and next year, she’ll work at the district level. Oh…she’s also my wife. Penny has observed her share of lessons. When I asked her about student engagement, she responded immediately, “QUESTIONS.” Quite simply, Penny believes that questioning students is an essential art that can be mastered with practice. In 500 BCE, asking students strategic questions was the foundation of Socrates’ instruction. His pedagogy has been celebrated for 2500 years. Penny will help you harness this timeless and powerful educational tactic, not only to engage, but also to foster deep understanding!




Episode Template

The Problem:

Teacher questions are often arbitrary and ineffective.

The Solution:

Include creating great questions and plan when and how to ask them.

What You Can Do Tomorrow: 

  • Evaluate the essential questions.
  • Create a handful of follow-ups.
  • Highlight your seating chart.
  • Decide where and how in tomorrow’s lesson you’ll unleash these questions.
  • Encourage students to formulate questions. 

Essential questions are merely a starting point. Engage learners by going deeper with irresistible questions asked in a strategic manner.

Listen to the episode for more detail: