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 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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Yesterday, a student who hadn’t said a word all summer led his group in identifying open and closed questions during the QFT.

Why do you think we ask questions? So we can be curious about what we are learning and want to know more.

A principal point of big questions is to inspire learners to ask them as well as pursue them. Make Just One Change by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana puts this agenda front and center. Their subtitle telegraphs the ‘one change’: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions.

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.

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.

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