What makes authentic questions authentic?

Main Article Content

Caroline Schaffalitzky


In some approaches to dialogic pedagogy research, authentic questions have long attracted attention, since the prevalence of authentic questions has been used as an indicator of the dialogic quality of classroom activities. However, this article offers an analysis of the concept of authentic questions in the research literature and shows that this concept is less clear than is commonly assumed. For instance, descriptions and definitions offered are very heterogeneous even within particular studies, and classifications of authentic questions vary across research literature. The analysis identifies four different, implicit conceptual elements in “authentic question” — some of which cannot be reconciled. The analysis also identifies an important underlying theme, namely mutual recognition and respect, in descriptions of authentic questions. Accordingly, the article concludes with the recommendation that future research on authentic questions includes this theme explicitly in reflections on the identification of authentic questions.

Article Details

How to Cite
Schaffalitzky, C. (2022). What makes authentic questions authentic?. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 10, A30-A42. https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2022.428
Author Biography

Caroline Schaffalitzky

Caroline Schaffalitzky is Ph.D. in philosophy and associate professor at Department for the Study of Culture at University of Southern Denmark where she is also head of the research and development project Philosophy in Schools. Her research interests include methodological and theoretical discussions in education, research ethics, dialogic pedagogy and philosophy with children and she has published both research articles and textbook materials within these areas in Danish and English. Recent publications include “Learning to facilitate dialogue: on challenges and teachers’ assessments of their own performance” (Educational Studies, 2021) and “Children’s experiences of online philosophical dialogues” (Childhood & Philosophy 2021, with S.S. Jensen and F. Schou-Juul).


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