Asking questions is an essential — yet often overlooked — lifelong learning skill. When we teach our students to formulate effective questions, we open up powerful pathways for engaged, self-directed learning. Questioning helps students effectively pursue their interests, navigate complex situations, solve problems, and assess print and online media content with a critical eye. They grow more confident as they prepare to contribute to a robust democracy.
The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) is a deceptively simple, practical, adaptable method that helps students become more sophisticated thinkers and problem-solvers. In this three-week online workshop, you’ll learn to harness the power of QFT with its original developers, Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein, co-directors of the Right Question Institute and co-authors of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions (Harvard Education Press).
This program expands on Santana and Rothstein’s original work by demonstrating how to adapt the QFT to a wide range of learning environments. Sarah Westbrook, the Right Question Institute’s director of professional learning, oversees this program. She draws on the wisdom of thousands of teachers to help you develop QFT strategies for your own classroom.
The program features a three-week asynchronous online workshop with an optional online webinar. Resources include videos, readings, online discussions, and peer collaboration. This is an asynchronous learning experience that is designed to be self-paced.
All materials are provided at the start of the program and can be completed at times that best fit your schedule. You 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.
- Understand the core structure and flow of QFT — and why it is so powerful for educators and learners.
- Develop a specific plan for implementing QFT in your classroom.
- Explore effective use of QFT in multiple settings, including virtual, in-person, and hybrid
- Employ effective questioning skills to improve educational equity.
- Expand and enrich existing QFT practices.
Benefits of QFT in the Classroom
When you bring the Question Formulation Technique to your classroom, you give students the power to direct their learning experience and improve learning outcomes.
- Curiosity drives the learning process. Because students start with what they want to know, they are invested in the process from the start.
- Students learn to improve their questions to dig below the surface. Students learn to use both open-ended and closed-ended questioning strategies to move from rote answers to deep understanding.
- Learners build confidence and become more empowered. As they get better at formulating questions, students become more confident in asking them and shaping their own research.
- Students take the skills and strategies they need to improve their lives outside the classroom. QFT helps students become more successful in all aspects of their lives, from higher education and the worlds of work and family to participation in our democracy.
Who Should Participate
- PreK-12 teachers across all content and subject areas
- Administrators, curriculum specialists, and instructional coaches
- Educators and teachers in higher education