Mindset Change: Questioning Skills as a Focus for Educator Professional Development

Jon Mason, Su Luan Wong, Eunice Sari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reports on a project that combined research with professional development focused on developing student questioning skills in Malaysian educational settings. Originally targeted at preservice teachers, the scope expanded to include academic staff from all teaching areas within Universiti Putra Malaysia following successful workshops for preservice teachers and their lecturers. It was conceived as a strategic response to the stated goal within the Malaysian Curriculum of achieving a shift toward student-centred pedagogies. The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) was first introduced to participants as a structured approach to teaching students how to formulate and refine their own questions and as a means of changing traditional instructor-led classroom dynamics – with the utlimate aim of strengthening student inquiry. Developing questioning skills was therefore presented as fundamental to the critical thinking and problem-solving skills recognised by educators advocating focused development of '21st century skills'. Given that Malaysian student performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has rated poorly in recent years, suggesting that Malaysian students are poor critical and creative thinkers, this intervention seemed timely. Apart from an enthusiastic responses by participants the findings indicate that the QFT is a viable intervention in which student questioning skills can be scaffolded in traditional Malaysian classroom settings. This was emphasised when the QFT was combined with a variety of digital technologies, including social media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrends & Issues in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationSelected papers presented in SEAHES 2017
EditorsSu Luan Wong, Zalina Mohd Kasim
PublisherCentre for Academic Development (CADe), Universiti Putra Malaysia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-967-960-439-9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018
EventSouth East Asian Higher Education Summit 2017 - Universiti Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 25 Oct 201726 Oct 2017


ConferenceSouth East Asian Higher Education Summit 2017
Abbreviated titleSEAHES 2017
CityKuala Lumpur
Internet address

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    Mason, J., Wong, S. L., & Sari, E. (2018). Mindset Change: Questioning Skills as a Focus for Educator Professional Development. In S. L. Wong, & Z. M. Kasim (Eds.), Trends & Issues in Higher Education: Selected papers presented in SEAHES 2017 (pp. 45-52). Centre for Academic Development (CADe), Universiti Putra Malaysia.