SUPPORT VS CHALLENGE IN CLASSROOM INTERACTION

A SAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE

 

N.B. Please refer to my paper

Teacher Support and Teacher Challenge in Promoting Learner Autonomy

This questionnaire will help you to think about your teaching style in terms of your tendency to provide students with support and challenge.

DIRECTIONS: Circle the numbers which correspond to your answers.
 

"CHALLENGE" SCALE

Always or nearly always

Often

Some times

Rarely or never

1. I set "open" tasks, which have no pre-determined solution.

3

2

1

0

2. Students' work is assessed only by me, not by the students themselves.

0

1

2

3

3. I allow students to choose between alternative tasks or between different ways of doing the same task.

3

2

1

0

4. Keys to exercises and "correct" answers are supplied only by me.

0

1

2

3

5. I ask students to provide materials for class and home activities.

3

2

1

0

6. I follow my textbook as closely as possible.

0

1

2

3

7. I prompt students to express opinions and feelings.

3

2

1

0

8. My lessons follow a fixed pattern.

0

1

2

3

9. I encourage students to "discover" language rules.

3

2

1

0

10. "Classroom rules" are established and enforced only by me.

0

1

2

3


 
 

"SUPPORT" SCALE

Always or nearly always

Often

Some times

Rarely or never

1. I make students aware of the objectives, content and procedures of a teaching unit.

3

2

1

0

2. I interrupt a student while s/he is talking to correct mistakes.

0

1

2

3

3. I make sure that task instructions have been clearly understood.

3

2

1

0

4. I use verbal communication rather than other aids (e.g. blackboard, pictures, video, etc.).

0

1

2

3

5. I discuss with students how work is proceeding at regular intervals.

3

2

1

0

6. I tend to openly criticize the students who make serious mistakes.

0

1

2

3

7. I ask students to discuss both what they have achieved and how they have achieved it.

3

2

1

0

8. I work with the whole class rather than let students work in pairs or groups.

0

1

2

3

9. I establish evaluation criteria together with students.

3

2

1

0

10. I avoid asking the weaker students questions.

0

1

2

3


 

SCORING INSTRUCTIONS

Calculate your scores for both the "challenge" and the "support" scales and plot them below.

HIGH CHALLENGE

|30

|28

|26

|24

|22

|20

|18

|16

HIGH SUPPORT ---------------------------|------------------------------ LOW SUPPORT

30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

|12

|10

|8

|6

|4

|2

|0

LOW CHALLENGE





FOLLOW-UP

If possible, discuss the following questions with a colleague.

a. How far do you think this questionnaire reflects your actual teaching style in

terms of the support and challenge you give your students?

b. Do you think you need to adjust

* the tasks you set and/or how you manage them in the classroom?

* the interaction you promote with your students?

If you do, can you think of a few practical examples?  

 

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