Chappell, Kerry; Craft, Anna; Burnard, Pamela and Cremin, Teresa
Question-posing and question-responding: the heart of 'Possibility Thinking' in the early years.
Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development, 28(3) pp. 267–286.
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Drawing on research that sought to explore the characteristics of 'Possibility Thinking' as central to creativity in young children's learning, this paper considers question-posing and question-responding as the driving features of 'Possibility Thinking' (PT). This qualitative study employed micro-event analysis of peer and pupil-teacher interaction. Events were sampled from two early years settings in England, one a Reception classroom (4- to 5-year olds) and the other a Year 2 classroom (6- to 7-year olds). This article arises out of the second stage of an ongoing research programme (2004-2007) involving the children and practitioners in these settings. This phase considers the dimensions of question-posing and the categories of question-responding and their interrelationship within PT. Three dimensions of questioning were identified as characteristic of PT. These included: (i) question framing, reflecting the purpose inherent within questions for adults and children (including leading, service and follow-through questions); (ii) question degree: manifestation of the degree of possibility inherent in children's questions (including possibility narrow, possibility moderate, possibility broad); (iii) question modality, manifestation of the modality inherent in children's questions (including verbal and non-verbal forms). The fine-grained data analysis offers insight into how children engage in PT to meet specific needs in responding to creative tasks and activities and reveals the crucial role that question-posing and question-responding play in creative learning. It also provides more detail about the nature of young children's thinking, made visible through question-posing and responding in engaging playful contexts.
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