EDU616 Week 2 Questioning and Motivation Paper
In the reading by Ged Gast “Effective Questioning and Classroom Talk” there is a section related to Exploring Objects and Artefacts(Gast, p9). This section was useful in my most recent unit in which my students learned about plastics manufacturing and injection molding. This framework revolving around designed objects was partially used as we analyzed and dissected plastic products in the classroom. We utilized this after initially focusing on the bigger question(Gast, p3) on how students thought plastic objects are created: “How do you think plastic products or parts are made?” This acted as a hook for students to engage with the content for the lesson and take a guess or expose prior knowledge. I utilized this as an initial do now question that students independently responded to and then optionally shared. Following a brief lecture on injection molding processes and how to spot injection molded products I led my students with focus questions(Gast, p3) through examples. I asked questions such as “What markings do we see on the bottom of this chair?” to guide them to uncover ejector pin markings or sprue gate impressions. I would then lead them to try and name the markings or impressions using the terms we had just learned. This seemed to work well and I would consider making this a think[or ink]-pair-share activity in the future. I can also work more towards having students create ‘key’ questions(Gast, p3) with me as I lecture on the processes that they can utilize and have ownership of in the T-P-S activity. So I have some room for growth in that area. I found the “exploring objects and artefacts”(Gast, p9) framework useful in my classes work for the day as it models after our Engineering Design Process. All of the questions do not need to be asked of the objects you’re analysing and the questions promote deeper thinking and investigation as you cycle through them. My students broke apart USB flash drives they will be designing new cases for and started to analyse how the original cases were manufactures. All of them cycled through the questions “What do you see?”, “What is it made of?”, and “How is it made?” using what they learned about injection molding prior to documenting their case in a sketched diagram. In the future I hope to have them reflect more on what they’re diagramming and understand the function of each component they’re diagramming, “What does it do?”. As well as consider what the impact of different qualities and parts of their plastic artefacts are “What is the impact?”(Gast, p9). The last two questions, I believe I can loop back on as I give students feedback on their diagrams as well as they do final documentation for their projects. Especially as they design their own cases they can begin to talk about any functionality of their own products as well as consider greater impacts their creation may have. My hope is that it will be easier to guide them through this questioning with their own products rather than previously designed products they possibly care less about. I would also like to note that the Engineering Design Process I mentioned earlier is very similar to the ModDB model of critical thinking(Gast, p15), and I would like to expose all of my students to these diagrams as they show how our way of working through projects is applicable to any task they take on and is critical in their skill development in any subject or field.