Seminar on Best Practices in the QFT in partnership with Teaching Residents at Teachers College, Columbia University

A fast-evolving economy and turbulent civic environment mean it’s not enough for students to learn. They must be taught how to learn – how to adapt to new situations by asking questions, seeking answers, and maintaining nimble minds.

The Right Question Institute (RQI), in partnership with Teaching Residents at Teachers College, Columbia University, invite you to a one-day seminar to actively learn a simple and proven technique that all educators can use to develop students’ ability to ask questions, take ownership of their own learning, and acquire democratic habits of mind.

Work closely with Dan Rothstein, co-creator with Luz Santana of the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), and collaborate with educators from around the region to explore the many ways the QFT can be used in the classroom.

“Now more than ever, students need the intellectual power to … ask good questions and develop robust investigations into them,” the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards notes. Asking and answering questions are identified by Common Core literature standards as foundational skills – taught as early as second and third grade. The same is true in science, where “scientific inquiry involves the formulation of a question that can be answered through investigation,” according the Next Generation Science Standards.

The QFT is now used in more than 250,000 classrooms around the world, from pre-K to higher education, and in communities of all stripes to teach students how to ask and use their own questions. It has been deployed successfully in struggling rural and urban districts as well as in graduate-level institutions, such as the Harvard Medical School.

Many educators report that the most rewarding part of the QFT is that students find the process engaging and eye-opening, as their own curiosity and intelligence is given space to thrive and shine. As a kindergarten teacher from Appalachian Kentucky once said, “It’s one of the easiest tools I’ve ever been given for my little [teaching] tool box.”

Participants will walk away from this seminar with the ability to implement the QFT in the classroom immediately and train others how to use it. The seminar involves hands-on, active learning and will provide an opportunity to network and collaborate with a wide range of educators and educational leaders. Participants will have meaningful conversations related to student engagement and curiosity, the key role of educators in a healthy democracy, and above all, the importance of asking questions.

The seminar takes place on Tuesday, August 15 at Teachers College and space is limited. Register now through Eventbrite and learn more about the QFT at


  1. I would love to share this blog post from my students at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven The Netherlands. A session fully dedicated to questioning and deeper inquiry.

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