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

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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In the world of sales, being able to ask the right questions is more valuable than producing the right answers. Unfortunately, our schools often have the opposite emphasis. They teach us how to answer, but not how to ask. The folks at the Right Question Institute are trying to correct that imbalance. They’ve come up with a method that educators can use to help students learn to ask better questions—and that can assist even those of us who graduated back in the twentieth century.

I believe all of us, including our students, should spend far more time thinking about the right questions to ask. Most of us spend too much time worrying about having a right answer in both our professional lives and personal lives. But the truth is, the answer can only be as good as the question asked.

“SO simple yet SO engaging! LOVED your way to present this to teachers- some of the toughest audience. You kept me engaged 100% of the time.”

Their level of engagement in the activity and each other’s ideas was not only exhilarating, but literally heart-warming.

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.’

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