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 May 2021 newsletter:
Best practices in the QFT with Harvard
Learning to ask better questions sharpens young people’s ability to think critically about what they see in the news, feel greater power and self-efficacy at school, and become more confident and ready to participate in civic life. Join the Harvard Graduate School of Education for our flagship online course, Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: Best Practices in the Question Formulation Technique. This is the most comprehensive QFT course available. Educators will delve into the art and science of the QFT and walk away with concrete plans for using it in schools.
Questioning at the end of the school year
How can you send students off into the warm days of summer with their minds abuzz with questions and curiosity? How can you bring a school year full circle for students, so they can appreciate how much they’ve accomplished — and maybe even be hungry to learn more? Here are five ideas from RQI’s Sarah Westbrook and educators who shared stories on Twitter. As Westbrook notes, “These final weeks are precious. They are opportunities to challenge, celebrate, and reflect with the students you’ve cared for and gotten to know for over nine months.”
Free course: Register by June 30
Primary sources breathe life into history and other subjects, allowing us to see more clearly what’s in front of us — and inspiring us to look beyond. They spark student curiosity and stimulate critical thinking. Join us from July 7 to August 4 for this free, self-paced online course: Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Primary Source Questions. Learn how to use the the QFT with Library of Congress digitized collections to design and implement more effective, student-centered, inquiry-based primary source learning.
Learn with National Geographic
We’re teaming up with National Geographic for an online course: Teaching Students to ASK Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions. It explores how to use the Question Formulation Technique to generate geographic questions — an integral part of National Geographic’s Geo-Inquiry Process. Educators will gain a deeper understanding of both the QFT and the Geo-Inquiry Process and develop an implementation plan to use in the classroom. Limited spots available!
Meet RQI’s new executive director
Betsy Smith joined us at the Right Question Institute this month as our new executive director. Betsy began her career as an educator, spending 11 years as a math teacher in Maine and Vermont. More recently she’s been a leader in the nonprofit world. Among other things, she was executive director of EqualityMaine for 14 years. While there, she helped lead statewide campaigns for marriage equality and non-discrimination protections. “I’m honored to become part of the RQI family,” she writes in an introductory message. “I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the unique contributions RQI makes to our schools and civic space.”
What we’re reading
Here are some stories we’ve been reading:
- ‘Students Will Ask Great Questions If We Give Them the Chance’ — Education Week
- Appreciating ‘All the Great Teachers on Earth …’ — Teaching with the Library of Congress
- What’s The Long-Term Impact Of The Pandemic On Babies And Toddlers? — WBUR
- The Case For Universal Pre-K Just Got Stronger — KQED MindShift
- Why Reading Comprehension Is Deteriorating — Hechinger Report
Your support matters
At the Right Question Institute, we build people’s ability to ask better questions and participate in decisions that affect them. Your donations help us do that. Your support helps bring free online resources to educators and schools, and it helps spread practical, free tools so that more people can begin to navigate complex systems, advocate for themselves, and strengthen their voice in democracy.
We’ve set a goal of 100 gifts to the Right Question Institute by the end of June to help advance our ability to develop and share free democracy-building resources. Please consider making a donation of any amount to help us reach our goal.
Thank you for your support and friendship.