Rachel Thomson

Primary Teacher

Ravenswood Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when wait-time is used during questioning in the classroom?


Stahl (1994) suggests that class teachers do not provide an efficient amount of thinking time before responding to a question. He identified that the average teacher allows between 0.7-1.4 seconds for a child to answer a question. This time frame is suggested by (Cotton,n.d) to only allow responses to be from their short-term memory, making it difficult for children to respond to Blooms Taxonomy Questions (Cotton,n.d). Our group were intrigued to research if the number of children willing to respond to a question would alter and if the quality of responses would differ when extended wait time is provided before answering. Rowe (1986) suggests that children will engage and respond better if provided with longer wait-time before answering.


This enquiry aims to examine;

  • If more pupils would volunteer answers if more wait-time was provided.
  • If the quality of answers differed with more wait-time given for thinking.
  • If more wait-time impacts pupil’s confidence for answering questions.
Download Practitioner Enquiry