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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Question Formulation Technique

Last summer I watched the Recorded Webinar: Introduction to the Question Formulation Technique. It starts off slowly but I found it a worthwhile introduction to QFT--and think QFT could be an extremely useful arrow in your technique quiver. You can watch it here.

Two posts last year focused on QFT: "Teaching Students to Ask Questions" and "Teaching Students to Ask Questions: A Follow-up."

In summary, the process is as follows (taken from Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions):


Step 1: Teachers Design a Question Focus. (Provide something for students to ask questions about)

Step 2: Students Produce Questions according to these four rules:
  1. ask as many questions as you can;
  2. do not stop to discuss, judge, or answer any of the questions;
  3. write down every question exactly as it was stated;
  4. and change any statements into questions.

Step 3: Students Improve Their Questions.

Step 4: Students Prioritize Their Questions. (The teacher, with the lesson plan in mind, offers criteria or guidelines for the selection of priority questions.)

Step 5: Students and Teachers Decide on Next Steps.


Step 6: Students Reflect on What They Have Learned.

Steps that I think might pose challenges are Step 1 (designing a good Question Focus) and the Steps 4/5 (using the questions students generate as a meaningful lesson component.) So, I'd love to hear from anyone who has used this with students.

  • What Question Focus did you use? 
  • How did it fit with into your lesson? 
  • What was difficult for your students? 
  • What was it like to cede control--and how much control did you actually cede? 
  • How did it work out? 
  • Would you use this technique again and why or why not? 

Feel free to email me at mkohl@mt.gov or call me at 406-444-4740 if that's an easier way for you to report. I'll write up any feedback I get and report out.

Watch the video or explore the free resources on The Right Question's website (to access some of their material you have to register but it is free and painless). Then give the technique a whirl and let us know how it turned out!

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