Asking questions is an essential — yet often overlooked — lifelong learning skill. This online course, facilitated by the Right Question Institute and offered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, equips all educators — at all levels — to become experts at teaching the fundamentally important skill of question formulation.
The ability to ask better questions allows people to:
- Assess with a critical eye what they see in the news, online, and on social media.
- Make their voices heard while listening to the voices of others.
- Navigate complex situations and adapt to change.
- Frame problems and challenges in a way that leads to action.
- Feel greater power and self-efficacy at school.
- Become more confident and ready to participate in civic life.
- Contribute to a robust democracy.
Kindergartners through doctoral students become more curious, engaged, and joyful learners when they learn to formulate their own questions.
Participants will walk away with practical action steps for how to implement the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) in their classrooms — and get the most out of it.
Educators who are totally new to the QFT will gain an introduction to the technique from the people who created it. They will generate ideas and a specific plan for using it in their own classroom. Those already experienced in using the QFT will explore how to take its endless possibilities to the next level.
Past participants have said they greatly appreciate how the course supports immediate practical application while at the same inspiring a small shift in teaching practice that can lead to meaningful outcomes. The program includes classroom examples from a wide range of educators, leading to discussions and new ideas about how to use the QFT in multiple settings — including virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning environments.
The course will provide an in-depth exploration of key concepts related to the QFT including:
- Why does questioning bring such a sense of power and agency to students?
- Why should educators deliberately teach all students how to ask their own questions?
- What is the core structure and flow of the QFT?
- Why does this structure work across all classrooms and for all students?
- How does the QFT change some traditional expectations around the roles teachers and students play in learning?
- What are “best practices” in designing, adapting, and facilitating the QFT?
The course uses a variety of teaching and learning methods to engage participants, including videos, readings, online discussions, and collaborative learning with peers.
This is an asynchronous learning experience that is designed to be self-paced over the course of the three-week program period, with recommended weekly milestones. It includes an optional live webinar that is popular with participants.
All materials are provided at the start of the program and can be completed at times that best fit a participant’s schedule. Participants should plan to devote a total of 10 to 12 hours of work. Participants who complete all individual assessments and contribute to group discussions prior to the end of the program period will receive a certificate indicating completion of 15 clock hours of instruction.