Question Formulation Technique
Using the process from the Right Question Institute (here), we generated questions about the global goals. This is our third QFT for the year and the students are very efficient with the process. Click here for our Global Goals slide deck.
The components of QFT are:
- A Question Focus (Q-Focus)
- The Rules for Producing Questions
- Producing Questions
- Categorizing Questions
- Prioritizing Questions
- Next Steps
Some of their questions are:
- How did the Global Goals begin?
- Were they put in a certain order?
- Did the creator expect it to become big?
- What inspired the 17 goals?
- How would accomplishing the goals affect our world?
- Can I help make a difference?
When we started our Global Goals inquiry in September, we watched an introductory video hosted by Emma Watson (here). She shared how we can “invent, innovate, and campaign”. At that time, we decided that we have the ability to campaign. As their teacher, I’m working on creating confidence and independence in my student leaders. The Goal Keeper mindset is perfect for that.
To introduce Goal Keepers, we watched three videos (here, here, and here). The videos spoke to my students. There were moments of silence after each video, tears throughout, and powerful discussions of the content and how it relates to our lives. Many students connected with personal experiences. I shared that many people become advocates of a cause because of a personal connection.
After watching the videos, we created our own Goal Keepers posters. (Link here) Students enjoyed choosing words and colors that express themselves. We also wrote about what makes us Goal Keepers. (Template here) We used the analogy of being the goalkeeper in soccer: One that protects the goal, works with a team, and constantly has an eye out to see what needs to be done next.
As part of the QFT, we introduced Next Steps. Our next step was to research each of the 17 goals. Students were randomly placed with a partner, then they used a digital spinner to be assigned the goal they would be conducting a mini-inquiry on. In our inquiry journey, we are still in the guided inquiry stage. (Click here for the inquiry pool developed by @Trev_Mackenzie.)
Students were given a choice of the template they would like to use. Each pair is asked to conduct a close reading on their goal (resources here), share the goal’s problem and solutions from the close read, and answer one self-selected question from the QFT. Student’s personalize the slide decks with colors and images that relate to their goal. This is a work in progress and will be a future blog post.
Sample slide decks here, here, and here.
An ongoing component of our Global Goals inquiry is adding to our digi journals. Reflection is a major part of the inquiry process. This is where we synthesize and make meaning of our learning experiences. Take a look at some of the QFT reflections.
SM: “The Global Goals QFT helped me and my group go more in depth about the Global Goals and also the questions we’re going to use for research. One of my partners, KV, helped me think of multiple perspectives while asking questions especially about Gender Equality. During QFT, we also had a really open minded discussion about the questions we want to research more about. Thankfully, the discussion helped me learn about other Global Goals and other ways to question things. Because of this QFT, this really expanded my mind more about 17 Global Goals and why each are important. Another question that we discussed was, “How would completing all of the goals affect the Earth?”. This question inspired me to research about every goal and not just focus on one goal/question. Also, the groups helped me because they sorted randomly and helped all of us learn about new perspectives we haven’t heard of before. Most of us in the classroom started off close minded for all of the people we didn’t talk too, but now, no matter who the person is, we always stay interested and open minded about every question. This benefited ALL of us by learning new perspectives and let alone just learning new people.”
TG: “What I learned is that there are so many unanswered questions about the global goals and working together in a QFT could make a bigger difference than working independent. One of the questions that my partners and I had in mind is what if there were no global goals? That’s a good question because if there was no global goals everyone on earth would probably be homeless or be starving for food. I wanted to write and possibly get the right answer, but it was about writing the question and not answering it. After QFT we shared our important questions to the class and I had other ideas from other classmates or peers as they shared their questions aloud. Some of the questions I had were similar to the questions that my other classmates had in their poster. The connections I made was the zero hunger and no poverty. Sometimes when I walk around El Centro I see people that are homeless or people that look hungry. Other times I see people asking for food and money sometimes people ignore them, but other times people give them money and food to help them. I see that there are people asking for money or have a sign that says I need money. It really makes me feel bad for them because they have no home or food and they don’t have anything to survive with no food or water and sometimes people ignore them and they judge them. This proves that I learned many things with the QFT research.”
Our Global Goals inquiry is continuing to evolve. With each new experience, students are learning more about the world around them and themselves. Their quest for knowledge is clear. Their expressions of empathy are evident. I’ve told my student’s parents time and time again what fine young men and women they are creating. Being a sixth grader can be hard. But as we find our bigger purpose, we’ll be able to navigate the many changes around us and surely find our places in our community and world.
#JustBeYou . . . Marilyn