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.
[The QFT] makes me feel like I’m in control of my learning.
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].
Yesterday, a student who hadn’t said a word all summer led his group in identifying open and closed questions during the QFT.
I do think that the QFT process did open up students to be inquisitive, reflective thinkers, and these characteristics permeated into how students approached learning in any content area or aspect of school.
I plan to use the QFT to generate curiosity at the beginning of semester and to let students generate research paper ideas at semester end.
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