Learning and the question: Who asks the questions?

imagesBeing able to ask the right questions is an important skill in most professions and in many aspects of private life as well. How well does school meet the challenge of helping students develop this skill? Who asks the questions in the classroom? Does that really matter? And if we want to be serious about helping our student develop the ability to generate, rephrase and prioritize their own questions, where do we start?

Such questions have been thoroughly addressed by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana, cofounders of the Right Question Institute. They have worked out a method (called the Question Formulation Technique), for teaching how to brainstorm, reshape and select questions, putting the students in the center of the process. Together with another teacher, I am currently trying out this procedure, and we believe it has great potential.

Although we have purchased the book Make Just One Change (published by Harvard Education Press), in which Rothstein and Santana  thoroughly outline their method, the essentials can be found in this two-page “Harvard Education Letter” entry. Tip; On p. 1, par. 4, click the “Read sidebar” link.

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