Staff development educators seeking to mentor health care practitioners towards thinking more critically may integrate a questioning approach into their teaching. However, posing questions that both support and challenge learners is an intentional process. This article provides an overview of the contextual considerations, dynamics and mechanics that educators need to understand in order to pose high level questions that invite learners to engage in reflection, problem solving and evidence informed practice. The approaches are framed from a constructivist theoretical perspective, a mentoring model of instruction and Socratic dialogue. The suggestions are practical mentoring strategies that can be readily integrated into everyday interactions with staff members. The suggestions are summarized into a succinct one-page guide.

Author Bio(s)

  • Suzanne Nevers, BScPT, is a Registered Physiotherapist in Ontario, Canada. Her practice centres around staff mentorship to support continued professional development of novice and experienced practitioners from different health disciplines. She is completing her Master of Health Studies at Athabasca University in Canada with a focus on teaching and learning.
  • Sherri Melrose, PhD, RN, is a Registered Nurse and Associate Professor at Athabasca University in Canada. Her research interests include teaching and learning in the health professions, clinical teaching, and constructivist approaches to education. She has authored three books on teaching in health disciplines and mentors graduate students interested in teaching.


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