Learning through Inquiry: QFT & the BC Curriculum

In a recent guest post, HS Science teacher Carl Sommerfeld shared how he used the Question Formulation Technique (aka QFT) to provide structure for students to ask questions that would guide a unit of study.

One of the key facets of the QFT is that the teacher starts the process with a Question Focus.  This is a teacher prompt that provides a focus for questions students will create.  Here are examples of how Darren Elves’ does this in his primary classroom: example 1, example 2, example 3.  Darren  has a great post on how he uses the QFT with primary students.

Looking at the proposed design for the “new” BC curriculum I can see how I would use the QFT to start each unit.  Sc 7 - Question Focus1

Above is a draft copy of  the Science 7 curriculum.  I think each Enduring Understanding would make a great Question Focus.  The Content that students are expected to know and understand are helpful when Prioritizing Questions (part of the QFT).  As students pursue answers to their questions (via various means) I would emphasis the process in order to develop students’ ability to Inquire, Reason, and Apply (the Curricular Competencies).

Blending into the unit would be the Cross Curricular Competencies.  I see a significant Language Arts (Written & Oral language) learning and application within the study of Science questions and the ecosystem understandings connect to some of the civilization understandings in the current SS7 PLO.  There is so much opportunity for creative and engaging teaching — would definitely want at least 1 or 2 colleagues to collaborate with on the work:)


About J Martens

Educator living in Vancouver and working in SD37 Delta. Supporting Numeracy while learning how formative assessment, literacy, inquiry, and technology serve to improve learning and increase engagement (for teachers & students).
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6 Responses to Learning through Inquiry: QFT & the BC Curriculum

  1. Jeff says:

    The JO science department has been toying with inquiry with a strong dose of literacy. I look forward to our collaboration!

  2. Pingback: Learning Science through Inquiry Workshop | Renovating My Classroom

  3. Janet Thompson says:

    This is what my daugther’s UK Year 3 teacher did for most units of study. She then posted her students’ questions on the school’s website (the school is a tiny village school). As a parent, I knew what the kids were “investigating” and I even knew which kid posed which question. Very cool.

    As a teacher, this QFT will help me make sense of the upcoming SS curriculum. How great to design units based on student curiosity. This is so much better than writing new unit plans for an entire course when the new curriculum is implemented. Focus on the learning, not the teaching … is fast becoming my new mantra. Janet

    • J Martens says:

      Have loved your thinking and would love to explore the QFT in socials further. I have a blog post that is long overdue showing how it worked in a Socials 8 classroom. I’ll try get it out in the next week.

      • Janet Thompson says:

        I thought that my comment didn’t make it onto your blog, so I am happy it did & I am happy to read your response. JT

  4. Pingback: Student Generated Questions in SS8 | Renovating My Classroom

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