Question formulation is a fundamental skill for thinking, learning, and democracy. As historian David Hackett Fischer wrote, “There can be no thinking without questioning — no purposeful study of the past, nor any serious planning for the future.” Yet, it is rare that the skill of question formulation is deliberately taught to students. How can we build the capacity for all students to develop sophisticated thinking skills, become curious learners, and engage deeply in inquiry and primary source learning through question-asking?
This session introduces educators to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple yet powerful strategy which teaches students how to formulate, work with, and use their own questions. The QFT is an equitable and evidence-based strategy used by over 300,000 educators in diverse communities worldwide to teach students how to become inquiry-driven learners.
Participants will actively experience the QFT and learn through exploring classroom examples from kindergarten through higher education. Examples will show how the QFT can provide a space and structure for students to analyze political cartoons, photographs, quotes, and other primary sources through the lens of their own curiosity.
Participants will leave with an understanding of the strategy, how it can be used with primary sources, and ideas for how to immediately move to implementation.