This morning I sat in on an excellent, concise webinar intro to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) by Lavada Berger, Deputy Director of The Right Question Institute. She was kind enough to run a second session when the first one filled up, which was generous at 8 pm New York time. The session walked us through the QFT steps, which I’ve quoted in an earlier post. Then Lavada asked us to trial the approach with our own set of questions. The question focus was “Some students are not asking questions”, and our challenge was to come up with a series of questions around addressing this problem. True to the technique, we then categorised our questions as open or closed; experimented with rephrasing to switch from one to the other; and reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of each question type. From there, we prioritised our questions and shared what we’d learned via the web conference chat feature. Sharing and discussing the process with educators around the world was inspiring: partly because the QFT is a great tool for explicit teaching of questioning, but equally because of the sense of a universal quest to bring out the best in our students. I am always hesitant to accept any program that claims to have ‘the answer’, but there are clear cognitive and pedagogical benefits to looking at questioning in this way. Should I buy the book?
Update: Lavada has posted a recording of the webinar to Youtube here.