The Ability of Young Children to Ask Questions: More Questions, More Intelligent Child?

By Jana Marie Havigerová and Iva Buresova.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

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The focus of this paper is the ability of children to ask questions. Originally a natural manifestation of children's inquisitiveness, this paper focuses on how this ability can be grown and developed at school. The study deals with the ability to question at preschool and early school age (children 5 to 7, N=161). The Ready2ask method had been created to measure the number of questions asked via visual and linguistic stimuli. It was verified that the ability of children to ask questions varies consistently, regardless of stimulus type. An average of 5±3 questions on visual stimuli and 2±2 questions on linguistic stimuli have been recorded. The ability to ask questions was correlated with IQ (Pearson r= .321 to .454). Children with higher intelligence ask usually more questions with both visual and linguistic stimuli. It was found that the number of questions generated by the indifferent visual stimulus is a good predictor of IQ, especially its verbal component (r= .503). Short tasks similar to the ones presented in this article might be a simple tool that can help and assistance to teachers in kindergartens for nominating gifted children in preschool age.

Keywords: Readiness to Ask Questions, Visual and Linguistic Stimuli, Preschool Children

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.63-73. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 775.789KB).

Dr. Jana Marie Havigerová

Lecturer and Researcher in Psychology, Department of Primary and Preprimary Education, University of Hradec Králové, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Jana Marie Havigerová is an assistant professor at the Institute of Primary and Pre-primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. She is a lecturer and a researcher in the field of educational psychology. Her theoretical background: cognitive, positive and folk psychology. Her research deals with the questions: how differently people perceive the implicit content of concepts of normality, giftedness, learning, family and how to encourage and develop the cognitive abilities in the school with a focus on developing the question skill. She leads workshops on how to speak positively.

Dr. Iva Buresova

Lecturer and Researcher in Psychology, Department of Psychology, Masaryk's University, Brno, Czech Republic

Iva Burešová is an assistant professor at the Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk’ University of Brno, Czech Republic. She is a lecturer and a researcher in the field of counselling psychology. Her research activities focus on the issue of measurement and assessment in psychology, psychology of giftedness and self-harm behaviour in the childhood and adolescence.