Educator Reflections

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

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 […]

“What would change in our community if no one judged?” 7th Graders Question Social Dynamics in Literature, and in Their Own Lives

How can teachers foster social awareness and empathy through student-generated questions? Teachers are often looking for new ways to build connections between course content and their students’ lives. In this classroom example, Erin Wynn, a 7th grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher, used the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) to engage students at the start of […]

English Students Use the QFT to Drive AP-ready, SAT-ready, EPT-ready Learning

by Andrea Giordano-Rink In my 24 years of teaching high school English in the Sweetwater District in Southern California I have never used a strategy as powerful as the Question Formulation Technique (QFT). I am teaching Honors English 11 this year with a very unique set of students. These are the students, primarily, who have […]

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

by James Brewster I’m proud to serve as the U.S. History teacher at the Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy in Austin, Texas, a 6th-8th grade, Title I campus. My students don’t always see themselves reflected in the subject I teach and don’t always feel like they have agency in their learning. With that in […]