Facilitate Student Curiosity and Engagement

The skill of question asking is far too rarely deliberately taught in school. We have worked with and learned from educators to develop a teaching strategy, the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), which provides a simple yet powerful way to teach students how to formulate, work with, and use their own questions.

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Steps of the QFT & Video Guide

Steps of the QFT & Video Guide
Detailed steps of the QFT and links to video footage for corresponding steps.

The QFT on One Slide

The QFT on One Slide
A quick, one-page overview of the whole Question Formulation Technique process.

Experiencing the QFT

Use this template to learn the QFT process by experiencing it yourself.

Introducing the QFT into Your Classroom Practice

This PowerPoint will help you prepare for introducing your students or colleagues to the QFT. It includes all the steps…

The Question Formulation Technique in Action

This video shows a 12th-grade humanities teacher, Ling-Se Chesnakas, using the QFT with her class in Boston. Ling-Se used the QFT to prepare students for a Socratic seminar and help them with a writing assignment about the book "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," by Junot Diaz.

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

My QFT Journey: Putting Students’ Minds into Motion with their Questions
Helping my students find their voice through questioning has led directly to their academic achievement. The level of student growth over the last five months has been unbelievable.

Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: One Small Change Can Yield Big Results

Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: One Small Change Can Yield Big Results
For teachers, using the QFT requires one small but significant shift in practice: Students will be asking all the questions.

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

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

How Questioning Can Drive Arguments, Productive Debate & Information Literacy Among Students

How Questioning Can Drive Arguments, Productive Debate & Information Literacy Among Students
The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) is a step-by-step process that creates a space and a structure for students to generate…

What is the QFT?

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Rothstein and Santana have put together a straightforward and accessible book about what seems like a simple idea – get kids to ask questions, questions they care about. Don’t be deceived. It’s one thing to get kids or anyone to ask a question or two; it’s another to get them take possession of the questions, to recognize that learning is asking questions and not just memorizing stuff. The art of making questions, nearly lost, is thankfully revived in [Make Just One Change].

I think it helps us build higher level questions. When we go over our questions and try to make them better, it helps us think. The questions help us dig deeper and go beyond basic facts and we develop questions that give us more than yes or no answers.

I thought of new questions I didn’t realize I was curious about once I started brainstorming all the options.

[The QFT] helps you form ideas, new ideas, and like prepare yourself for what you’re about to learn or what you’re learning.

For me, their questions and the young man’s comment made my day. I wanted the students to own the class. I wanted them to have a say in what we learn and how we learn it. After using the QFT just one time, I was already noticing a change in the engagement of my students.

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