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UWF Core Teaching Skills Resources

This guide features a collection of resources to assist teacher candidates in implementing the core teaching skills: Differentiation, Assessment, Classroom Management, and Questioning and Feedback to Students.


Questioning and discussion (Component 3b) are highlighted in the Danielson Framework for Teaching (2013) as an essential instructional practice for engaging students in the study of a topic. Questions can be used for recitation (review of content) or to promote thoughtful discussion in lessons. Teachers use recitation questions to develop foundational knowledge and skills, provide drill and practice opportunities, and conduct formative assessment (check for understanding). In contrast, teachers use discussion questions to help students to “make connections among concepts or events previously believed to be unrelated and to arrive at new understandings of complex material” (Danielson, 2013, p. 59). Teachers may begin a lesson with a series of recitation questions to check for understanding (and reteach as needed) before shifting to asking “true” discussion questions. 


Walsh and Sattes (2015) identify the following characteristics of recitation and discussion questions, which are sometimes called lower-level and higher-level questions (p. 17):


Recitation questions/Lower-level questions:‚Äč

  • Have a "right" answer
  • Prompt students to recall facts or demonstrate skills
  • Posed in a series (e.g., Who? What? Where? When?)

Discussion questions/Higher-level questions:

  • Are pen-ended or divergent (i.e. no specific "right" answer)
  • Stimulate student responses at higher cognitive levels (i.e. Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, Create)
  • One main focus question prompts discussion among teacher and students; students may pose additional questions.
  • Focus question is often related to an issue (e.g. equality, justice, responsibility, climate change, pollution) to engage students emotionally and personally