Glossary: Q


Questioning consists of asking a series of questions in a way that encourages expression, dialogue, sharing, reflection, cognitive conflict, reassessment, etc. It is reflective if it leads participants to reflect on their professional practices or think about the strategies and processes used to perform tasks or professional acts. It is socioconstructivist if it fosters knowledge- or competency-building, elicits interaction, or provokes sociocognitive conflict (adapted from Lafortune, Martin and Doudin, 2004). It encourages people being accompanied to verbalize what they think, what they do, how they do it, how they could do it differently, and how they could help promote new awareness or encourage action on the part of their accompanied peers. Questioning can also lead them to take a closer look at the process of accompanying change, and to transfer their experiences into their own accompaniment practice.

In reflective practice, questioning encourages people to speak out and helps foster greater awareness about their practices, questioning them without eliciting undue resistance and without forcing blanket acceptance of change. From this standpoint, people use questioning to promote reflection, thereby creating dissonance that helps call accepted wisdom into question. Questioning represents a real challenge, given its role and usefulness in eliciting in-depth reflections, fostering sociocognitive conflict, stimulating interaction, and leading accompaniment providers and those they accompany to a new state where they reflect on their newfound awareness and their progress toward reflective-interactive autonomy. Upon achieving this type of practical autonomy, people can prepare and revisit their own interventions by calling them into question or consulting others with a view to fine-tuning their practices and reexamining their approaches (Lafortune, Martin and Doudin, 2004, p. 15).

In accompanying reflective practice, questioning calls for the preparation of questions, but also reflection as to their value by anticipating possible responses and subjecting the questions to the critical eye of colleagues before using them. Another possible step is to examine the types of questions asked and assess the level of reflection they demand in order to reformulate them to elicit even more reflective engagement. Depending on its relevance, questioning is more likely to foster reflective engagement if it elicits new awareness that fuels reflection and leads to action. Questioning can be a way to elicit reflective practice. In this sense, “questioning linked to an accompaniment process is closely related to the feedback provided about the planning and conduct of the intervention, and a posteriori analysis of the action. Be it in the form of comments, information, stock taking, or questioning, this feedback may have broader significance and foster reflection, comparison, or new awareness that requires a reframing, reexamination, or regulation for the purpose of change, advancement, evolution, or explanation. The feedback becomes reflective and interactive if it leads the persons being accompanied to reflect on their actions, productions, attitudes, or behaviors and to envisage a solution that they can discuss with others in order to obtain critical feedback or answer questions that require additional exploration or explanation (Lafortune et Martin, 2004, p. 15).


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