A study co-authored by an Ohio State University professor found preschool teachers often asked too few questions of students when they read books to students, and also found the questions they did ask were usually too simple.

Only 24% of what teachers said outside of reading the text were questions, according to the study’s results, and students answered those questions correctly 85% of the time.

“When kids get 85% of the questions right, that means the questions the teacher is asking are too easy,” said Laura Justice, co-author of the study and professor of educational psychology at The Ohio State University. “We don’t want to ask all difficult questions. But we should be coaxing children along cognitively and linguistically by occasionally offering challenging questions.”

The study appears online in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly and will be published in a future print edition. The study was supported by grants from the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education.

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