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The Skill of Probing Questioning – Sample Questions

The skill of probing questioning is one of the major micro-teaching skill practiced in teacher training institution. So, it is very important to know the meaning, objectives, and importance of the skill of probing practiced in micro-teaching. In this post, you will get the explanation of probing and its components.

The Skill of Probing Questioning in Micro-Teaching Sample Questions for each components

The Skill of Probing Questioning – Meaning, Objectives, and How to Use?

The skill of Probing Questioning involves going deep into a pupil’s response by asking a series of subsequent questions. It helps the pupils to give a correct and complete answer. This skill requires the teacher to put a series of questions about the answer given to the first question.

Probing is going deep into the pupils’ responses by asking a number of questions about what they already know and to lead them to the correct response or to remove any ambiguity or misconception, which has led to such responses. Probing is to be done if there is no response or incorrect response or partially right response.

Components of the Probing Questioning:

While you will start to make a micro lesson plan for the skill of probing questioning you have to understand all of its components. Otherwise, your micro-teaching lesson plan will not be up to the level. So, Here you will get the explanation of each skill of probing questioning. For each component of probing, there are a few samples of probing questions.

The components of the skill of probing questioning are –

  • Prompting
  • Redirecting
  • Refocusing
  • Seeking further information
  • Questions aimed at critical awareness & evaluation

Sample Questions of Skill of Probing Questioning for Each Component:

To use all of these components in your micro plan, you have to learn properly. this is not an easy task. To make your understanding better and get sample/model questions for each of the components of probing, please study the following information thoroughly.


Prompting involves the teacher giving clues or hints to the pupil and ask leading questions. Here, the teacher neither supplies answers to the pupil nor does he/she redirect the answer to some other pupils, but helps the pupil to answer the question himself. This technique allows the teacher to probe by prompting the pupil, even though at first instance it appears that the pupil cannot answer the question.

Prompting can be used by a teacher when the pupil gives (a) ‘I do not know’ or ‘I am not sure’ response, and (b) very weak or wrong response. Sometimes, it can also be used when the response is partially correct or incorrect.

While using this technique, a teacher keeps the following two things in mind. Firstly, the teacher does not discourage the pupil for his/her no or wrong response. Secondly, the teacher helps the pupil to arrive at the criterion response by means of a systematic and step-by-step questioning process.

Sample questions for prompting:

  • Teacher: Who looks after the local administration of a city? Prakash?
  • Prakash: (No response)
  • Teacher: Alright, who makes provisions for clean water, street lighting, and construction and respires of roads in our city? (The teacher gives hints which helps Prakash to respond.)
  • Prakash: Municipality
  • Teacher: Very good. What are the functions of the municipality?
  • Prakash: Opening of schools.
  • Teacher: (Teacher deals with an incomplete response) tell some other functions.
  • Prakash: Looking after the health of people?
  • Teacher: Any more functions?
  • Prakash: Beautifying the city.


Redirecting techniques involve putting or directing the same question to several pupils for a response. This can be used for the purposes of probing and for increasing pupil participation. Even after using the prompting technique when there is a ‘no response’ or ‘wrong response’ or ‘incomplete response’ teacher may redirect the same question to other pupils.

Model Questions for Redirecting:

  • Teacher: Any more functions? Prakash
  • Prakash: (No response.)
  • Teacher: Sunita (redirection)
  • Sunita: Beautifying the city.
  • Teacher: Yes, any other? Reena?
  • Reena: Reply….


This technique is generally used when the pupil gives a correct response. The teacher relates the present answer with the topic already covered in the class. When a pupil gives a correct response or gives a high-quality response, the teacher refocuses his/her or class attention to related issues. This technique consists of enabling the pupil to view his/her response in relation to other similar situations.

This technique requires the pupil to relate a completely acceptable answer to other topics already studied by them. Here, the teacher wants that the pupil should consider the implications of a given response.

In this instance, the teacher asks the pupils to complete his/her response by asking questions like,-

  • In what way this different from….?
  • How does it relate to……?
  • In what way is it similar to…..?

Sample questions for Refocusing:

  • Teacher: What is the central idea of the poem, ‘Patriotism’?
  • Pupil: Reply
  • Teacher: In what way it is different from the poem, ‘Where the mind is without Fear’ by Rabindranath Tagore?

Seeking Further Information:

This technique is used when the initial response of a pupil is either incomplete or partially correct, then the teacher helps the pupil to clarify, elaborate, or explain his/her initial response. Here, the teacher elites more information and meaning or seek further clarification from the pupil by asking questions.

Seeking further information consists of asking the pupil to apply the additional information to bring the initial response to the criterion level or the expected level.

The teacher may ask for more information when he/she suspects that the pupil has guessed and does not know the answer. The teacher can ask the pupil to give a rationale for his/her answer by asking to give reasons for his/her answer or asking him/her even to relate the answer in different words. If the pupil is answering by guessing, he/she will not be able to respond to the teacher’s subsequent questions about the response. This technique helps to remove any faulty assumptions underlying the pupil’s answer.

In this instance the teacher asks the pupils to complete his/her response by asking questions like,-

  • What do you mean by the term ‘Education’ used by you in this statement?
  • Can you put it, in other words, to make it clearer what you mean?
  • Can you clarify your answer?
  • What else you add to your response?
  • Is there any other answer?
  • Please state bit any other words.
  • How can you make your answer clearer?

Sample Questions For Seeking Further Information Component:

  • Teacher: How can we say that the food habits of people are largely controlled by the climate where they live?
  • Pupil: Man accepts those items for his diet which are easily available or found in abundance.
  • Teacher: Can you make your answer clearer by giving an example?
  • Pupil: Yes, for example, the Eskimos consume fish and meat because they are easily available for them.

Questions Aimed at Critical Awareness & Evaluation:

This technique of probing questioning skill mainly involves asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ of a completely correct or expected response. The purpose is to seek increased critical awareness in the pupil. The teacher asks the pupil to justify his response rationally. Therefore, this technique elicits a rationale for his/her initial response. Some examples of the questions for increasing pupil’s critical awareness are as follows,

  • How do you say so?
  • What are you assuming here?
  • How would someone who takes the opposite viewpoint respond to this? etc.

Example Questions For Critical Awareness and Evaluation:

  • Teacher: How is municipality different from gram panchayat?
  • Pupil: Municipality is the administrative body that looks after smaller cities, whereas gram panchayat looks after village.
  • Teacher: Very good. Do you think that there is any special reason why the municipality is different from gram panchayat?

This article is highly recommended if you are facing problem in making a micro-teaching lesson plan for the skill of probing in questioning. These sample questions for the skill of probing questioning will help you in making a better micro plan.

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