Right Question Institute
A Catalyst for Microdemocracy
The Right Question Institute makes it possible for all people to learn to ask better questions and participate more effectively in key decisions.
Dan Rothstein Luz Santana in Education Leadership @ ASCD
Warren Berger, A More Beautiful Question
Right Question Stories from the Field: Farming on Volcanoes, Flint’s Water Crisis, and Excreting Isopods
How does the sun’s power get into you? Using the QFT to Explore Energy with First Graders
My Ah-Ha Moments with the Question Formulation Technique
To Adapt, or Not to Adapt?: How Fidelity-Of-Implementation of the QFT Can Impact Student Outcomes
The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) in Social Studies
Recent Forum Topics
Make Just One Change
A clear, practical explanation with compelling examples of how to teach all students to ask their own questions.
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Luz Santana & Dan Rothstein
Better Questions, Better Decisions, and a Stronger Democracy
We’ve been at work for more than 20 years teaching a strategy that helps people in low-income communities learn to advocate for themselves and their families. We have seen people use the strategy to advocate for their children at school, participate in decisions that affect them at the welfare office, secure better job training opportunities, and partner more effectively with their healthcare providers. We’ve also seen that the same strategy has universal value and has been used by college and graduate school students, professors, and professionals in various fields.
What is the “Right Question Strategy?” It is deceptively simple: Teach just two skills; how to ask your own questions and how to participate in decisions that affect you. We are often challenged to explain why these simple skills even need to be taught, and then, there are times when those who understand the full significance of these very sophisticated skills need to be convinced that they can even be taught.
We are seeing an explosion of implementation around the country in teaching the skill of question formulation. Since Harvard Education Press published Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions in 2011, thousands of educators around the world have begun to teach their students how to ask their own questions. The results are students who are more engaged in their learning, take more ownership and learn more.
Learning “just” these two skills creates not only a pathway to success on many levels but also a pathway to full participation in democracy. We need more people capable of thinking for themselves and ready to make a contribution to building a more democratic and more just world.
Luz Santana / Dan Rothstein
Co-Directors, The Right Question Institute