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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.
For me, their questions and the young man’s comment made my day. I wanted the students to own the class. I wanted them to have a say in what we learn and how we learn it. After using the QFT just one time, I was already noticing a change in the engagement of my students.
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.’
Asking questions is a step in creating change.
I think the idea that you can question the authority (and that you have a right to do so if you don’t understand something) is what I took away from your session.
The hundreds of free resources you will find on our network will help you easily move into action to learn a strategy one day and facilitate the very next.
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