Our free monthly newsletter features educational resources, upcoming learning opportunities (such as webinars, events, and online courses), practical tips, new ideas, and other news. Sign up to receive the newsletter and other occasional updates from RQI.
Here’s a text-only version of our August 2021 newsletter:
‘What is IEP?’: asking questions to meet speech and language goals
Nancy Cohen, a veteran speech-language pathologist, shares insights she’s gained from using the Question Formulation Technique and listening to her students’ questions about their IEPs and self-advocacy goals. “My job is ultimately to make sure that students on my caseload make progress toward their goals each year. Their goals, not my goals,” she writes.
Examples of the QFT in special education settings
As Nancy Cohen writes in the blog above, supporting students in asking their own authentic questions can help educators better understand students’ individual strengths and needs. Here are some more examples of how teachers have used the QFT in different special education settings.
Four ways to use the QFT to start the school year
This blog post by Sarah Westbrook is a perennial favorite at the beginning of the school year. As she writes: “There’s a lot packed into the first few days of a new school year. You need to set norms and expectations, share the syllabus, preview content, and learn everyone’s name and learning style … and the Question Formulation Technique can help.”
Core QFT resources to get started
Do you want to plan a QFT lesson for the start of the year? Start here:
- The QFT on one slide
- QFT PowerPoint template*
- Lesson planning workbook
- Intro to Question Focus design
- Next steps with student questions
Harvard’s QFT course in October
RQI’s online course, Best Practices in the Question Formulation Technique, run in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, starts in mid-October. This is our most comprehensive and in-depth course on the QFT. Join us to explore the art and science of deliberately teaching students to ask their own questions.
What we’re reading
Here are a few stories that caught our eye this past month:
- Tools That Help English Language Learners Online and In Person — KQED MindShift
- A Message to Returning Students from Less Privileged Backgrounds: Ask for More — The Boston Globe
- Can You Fix Middle School by Getting Rid of It? — The Hechinger Report
- Spotlight on Successful Inquiry-Based Learning Through Parent Engagement (requires free registration)— Education Week
- Devil in the Details: Examining Visual Material from the Civil War — Teaching with the Library of Congress
Upcoming learning opportunities
September 17 and 24: Untapping the Power of Questions in Higher Education. In collaboration with Northeastern University, with grant support from the National Science Foundation.
September 29-November 2: Teaching Students to ASK Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions. In collaboration with National Geographic.
October 19-November 8: Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: Best Practices in the Question Formulation Technique. in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Starting October 23: Teaching Students to Ask & Use Their Own Questions with the Question Formulation Technique (QFT). In partnership with Chapters International.
You make a difference
When you support the Right Question Institute, you help bring free resources to teachers and schools. You also help equip people with skills and strategies for participating in decisions and advocating for themselves, their families, and their communities — something that’s very much needed at this moment in history.
Thank you for contributing to a more inclusive educational system, society, and democracy, where all people, even those furthest from power, are equipped with the skills and confidence to ask questions and make their voices heard about issues important to them.