The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) in Social Studies

Steps of the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) & Video Guide

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Questions, Frameworks, and Classrooms

By John Lee, Kathy Swan, SG Grant, Dan Rothstein, and Luz Santana

The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (or C3 Framework) (National Council for the Social Studies, 2013) puts forward a vision for what inquiry-based teaching and learning can look like in social studies. A vision for inquiry is one thing, actually committing to and enacting this vision is another. To that end, C3 Teachers has partnered with the Right Question Institute (RQI) to tackle what is perhaps the thorniest problem in implementing the C3 Framework—helping students become confident and proficient in asking their own questions.

Download this C3 Brief

The QFT for Summative Assessment in a Social Studies Classroom

In this video Joshua Beer, an educator who teaches 8th grade in rural New Hampshire, uses the QFT for summative assessment purposes. Watch the QFT unfold as students address the Question Focus (QFocus), “Questions that should be asked about American imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.”

My QFT Journey: Putting Students’ Minds into Motion with their Questions

In this blog middle school history teacher James Brewster shares how the QFT helps to nurture student curiosity and supports their work as they engage in difficult conversations on current events.

Lincoln, Power, and the QFT

Dan Fouts, a high school philosophy and government teacher from Illinois, shares how he has used the QFT in his classrooms to closely examine a quote by President Lincoln and spark rich student discussion.

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