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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Experiencing the QFT

This guide describes the key components of the QFT and includes a template that will allow you to experience the…

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…

Steps of the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) & Video Guide

Detailed steps of the QFT and links to video footage for corresponding steps.

Private: Better Questions, Better Decisions Voter Engagement Workshop

How can students discover for themselves the value of voting? Too many decisions by elected officials are hidden from view…

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.

Asking Questions in the Age of Google Webinar

The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) is a strategy that 250,000 educators worldwide are using to teach students how to formulate…

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.

Making Questions Flow

Making Questions Flow
Are questioners born or made? What happens to the “born questioners” when they enter school at 5 years old? Do…

“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.

Build STEM Skills and Nurture Students’ Scientific Curiosity With the Question Formulation Technique

Build STEM Skills and Nurture Students’ Scientific Curiosity With the Question Formulation Technique
Science does not simply begin with questions — science is an ongoing process that begins, persists and ends with questions.…

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].

As the title of this book indicates, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana believe that education can be transformed if students, rather than teachers, assume responsibility for posing questions. This idea may sound simple, but it is both complex and radical: complex, in that formulating good, generative questions, and being prepared to work toward satisfactory answers, is hardly a simple undertaking; and radical, in the sense that an apparently easy move can bring about a Copernican revolution in the atmosphere of the classroom and the dynamics of learning. The authors modestly quote physicist Niels Bohr who once said, ‘An expert is someone who has made all possible mistakes in a field and there are no more to be made.’ In reading this powerful work, I was reminded of what Albert Einstein said, when he learned of Jean Piaget’s pioneering questioning of young children: ‘so simple only a genius could have thought of it.’

I’d also enjoy seeing more teachers take a page out of the Right Question Institute and help students learn to formulate great questions.

“This is the best, most useful training in 22 years of teaching!”

Asking questions is a step in creating change.

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