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Here’s a text-only version of our January 2021 newsletter:
Questions about democracy
Earlier this month, teachers stepped up, once again, to help students grapple with and process current events. Many used the Question Formulation Technique to facilitate student-driven discussions about the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In reflecting about that event, RQI’s Sarah Westbrook writes, “It is in times of great uncertainty, confusion, or upheaval, when confronted with a lack of information or misinformation, that we most need to be able to ask questions of ourselves, our peers, our elected officials, and our institutions.”
Voting matters: reaching those who are often missed
Colorado’s Community Resource Center “reaches those individuals that are often missed and do not have a voice at the table.” The organization used the Right Question Institute’s “Why Vote?” Tool to “engage more deeply with communities about voting and civic engagement.”
The power of questions in a Georgia kindergarten class
In Catherine Tommasello’s kindergarten class, asking questions is fun and has allowed several students to make breakthroughs in their learning. When schools closed in March 2020, Tommasello started doing the QFT remotely. Her experience provides inspiration for working with young learners.
RQI’s executive director search
We’re hiring. The Right Question Institute (RQI) seeks a collaborative and strategic executive director to lead the RQI team in executing its mission to make democracy work better by teaching a strategy that allows anyone, no matter their educational, income, or literacy level, to learn to ask better questions and participate more effectively in decisions that affect them. The new leader will collaborate closely with RQI’s program leaders, founding co-directors, and board to set the strategic direction of the organization and to ensure its financial and organizational sustainability.
What we’re reading
We’ve been reading a lot of things this month. Here are just a few stories that caught our attention.
- Why Questioning Is The Ultimate Learning Skill — Forbes
- TPS and Fast-Moving Events — TPS Teachers Network (free with login)
- Last Week Was Tough, Teachers Say. But It Wasn’t the First Difficult ‘Day After’ They’ve Faced — Hechinger Report
- Six Ways to Build Community in Online Classrooms — KQED MindShift
- The Pandemic Is Speeding Up the Mass Disappearance of Men From College — Hechinger Report
Thank you! Many of you made end-of-year donations, and your generosity matters a lot. As we look toward 2021 — a year bound to contain more challenges — your support will help bring free online resources for educators and schools. It will help spread practical, free tools for self-advocacy so that more and more people can begin to navigate complex obstacles, ask questions, have a say in decisions, and strengthen their voice in democracy. Your gifts make a difference. Thank you for your support and friendship.