Brain Food Fridays: Questions instead of Answers

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This week’s link was shared with me by Michelle and looks at the importance of getting students to ask questions.

In a recent blog post, Katie L Martin asks “Are we asking the right questions in school?

Are we giving students the opportunities to ask questions and then giving them time to use their critical thinking skills, curiosity and creativity to find the answers.

At the end of the post Martin poses some questions to think about:

  • What if our questions inspired curiosity to solve the challenges that exist in their world now and in their future?
  •  What is we slow down and give learners a chance to really find and share their thoughts around deeper, open ended questions?
  • What if we focused “lesson planning” on deliberately crafting questions rather than planning how to transfer information?
  • What if we invested more time asking thoughtful questions to spark more conversation and develop even more questions?

The blog post features this video: Rubik’s Cube: A question, waiting to be answered


Here is a link to the post: Are we asking the Right Type of Questions?

The Question Formulation Technique

To start our new topic this week with my Level 1 History class  I used a technique called The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) which is a fabulous strategy to get students asking questions. I used it to find out what they wanted to learn about Black Civil Rights in the USA.  We ended up with over 40 different questions.

I will run a session on how to use this strategy next term but here are some links:

The Question Formulation Technique– my Slides presentation

The Right Question Institute– information on the QFT technique

The Right Questions – ASCD article on using the QFT technique

Why the Question is more important than the Answer – Mindshift Article on using the QFT technique

Here are a couple of reflections from the students after using the technique this week:

“From this strategy I have learnt that it can be useful to make up questions to find answers to  instead of just having the answers”

“I think learning to ask questions is important for a different gateway into learning, it changes how you think”

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