Educator Reflections

Educators share their insight and use of the Question Formulation Technique.

Branching Questions: Using the Question Formulation Technique in a Youth Tree Stewardship Program

by David Meshoulam, Ph.D. Editor’s Note: Check out this step-by-step video of David facilitating the Question Formulation Technique in a high school science class. This past summer I led a group of teenagers in Watertown, MA, in what will hopefully become an annual Trees for Watertown’s Teen Tree Stewardship Program. During the program teens learned about about […]

Integrating the Question Formulation Technique in PBL through the Launch

by Jennifer Pieratt, Ph.D. Leading organizations in the field of Project Based Learning (PBL) have identified inquiry as a characteristic of high quality PBL, and PBL facilitators are often interested in ways to sustain student inquiry; however after reflecting on my work in the field as an educator supporting teachers I have come to feel […]

What If My Students’ Questions Go Off the Rails?

by Connie Williams Like any lesson ever, the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) doesn’t always go as perfectly as planned, but there’s always something you can learn from your facilitation of the QFT and students always benefit from having space and time to ask questions. I’ve certainly had those experiences where the Question Focus (QFocus) and […]

It’s All About the Question

By Ellen Gammel The Fitchburg High School state report came back… Level 3… again. For schools in Massachusetts, this Department of Education label informs us we are in the bottom 20% of schools – definitely a label no school wants. The discouragement and frustration came to the forefront, and then the big question: Why? Why […]

“How does the sun’s power get into you?” Using the QFT to Explore Energy with First Graders

By Jodie Botzang, First Grade Teacher, Summers’ Corners Public School, Aylmer, Ontario, Canada What I like about the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) process is that it provides an opportunity for my first graders to ask their questions without feeling insecure or judged on their prior knowledge. The idea that you ask every question that comes […]

My Ah-Ha Moments with the Question Formulation Technique

by Connie Williams When first starting to use the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), I thought I needed to run through the process as described each and every time. It made sense, after all, to complete it with fidelity so that I would know that I was doing it “right.” As I became more competent – […]

To Adapt, or Not to Adapt?: How Fidelity-Of-Implementation of the QFT Can Impact Student Outcomes

by Shelby Clark In the fall of 2015, my colleagues at Boston University and I set out to find out how the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) impacts high school student outcomes, in particular curiosity, divergent thinking (creativity), school engagement, and self-efficacy. On the one hand, we were particularly interested in knowing whether teaching students to […]

The Question Formulation Technique for Deepening Thought

by Melanie Meehan Throughout the year, our district provides ongoing professional development from the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College of Columbia University (TCRWP). Staff developers visit our district and do demonstration lessons, provide coaching, and lead study groups around reading and writing workshops and content area literacy instruction. They always share innovative tools […]

A Pen-and-Paper Technique for the EdTech Enthusiast

By Jay Sorensen So, the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) isn’t necessarily a technology-related tool. It can be done with no more than pencil and paper. Of course, you can enhance it by bringing in videos, or using VR for your Q-focus, or holding an online discussion of questions. But I think of the QFT as tech-related in […]

Biography and Bioethics: 9th Graders Ask Questions about the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

It all began with a question. For writer and journalist Rebecca Skloot, it was a question she asked as a high school student in a college biology lecture that launched her into a decades long research and writing process that eventually became the New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. After a […]