Ask, Don’t Tell: Powerful Questioning in the Classroom addresses how artful questioning may be the most powerful tool a teacher has in her instructional tool kit to manage the class, engage students with the subject matter, encourage dialogue, and deepen understanding. Educators are encouraged to break the pattern of low‑level daily procedural questioning and instead focus powerful questions that increase student engagement and ensure students' mastery of content and skills. Powerful questioning may engender deep, diverse, creative, and metacognitive thinking, but the most powerful questions are created and answered in partnership with other curious minds.
The authors, all with extensive teaching experience, describe powerful questioning in English Language Arts, Mathematics, History and Social Studies, and Science through both exposition and narration. Their focus is on those moments when teachers and students are engaged in classroom questioning tasks that involve face‑to‑face interactions and oral discourse, which comprise the great majority of time spent in schools.