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Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions Paperback – September 20, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1612500997 ISBN-10: 1612500994

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612500994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612500997
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As the title of this book indicates, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana believe that education can be transformed if students, rather than teachers, assume responsibility for posing questions. This idea may sound simple, but it is both complex and radical: complex, in that formulating good, generative questions, and being prepared to work toward satisfactory answers, is hardly a simple undertaking; and radical, in the sense that an apparently easy move can bring about a Copernican revolution in the atmosphere of the classroom and the dynamics of learning. The authors modestly quote physicist Niels Bohr who once said, An expert is someone who has made all possible mistakes in a field and there are no more to be made. In reading this powerful work, I was reminded of what Albert Einstein said, when he learned of Jean Piaget s pioneering questioning of young children: so simple only a genius could have thought of it. --Howard Gardner, The John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This book begins with the seemingly simple request to get students to ask their own questions, but at heart it's a book about creating a classroom alive with dialogue, inquiry, and respect for students' minds. --Mike Rose

The protocols described in this book are easy to follow and adaptable to a variety of classrooms and subjects. These simple strategies can lead students to go into more depth in their learning and stretch the standard curriculum beyond the textbook. Students energy, motivation, and perseverance increase noticeably when they have more ownership of the topics they are studying. --Hayley Dupuy, sixth-grade math and science teacher, J. L. Stanford Middle School, Palo Alto, California

About the Author

Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana are codirectors of The Right Question Institute (RQI). Prior to his work with RQI, Rothstein developed and implemented education programs in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Israel. Santana is a former counselor and parent advocate.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to EVERY teacher of EVERY subject.
Amazon Customer
Perfect for questioning techniques and empowering students to be active participants in their education.
CP
Rothstein and Santana outline a simple process with specific steps and lots of examples.
Stephen Quatrano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Lpeet on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
As one of the teachers mentioned in the book, I just wanted to share my perspective with fellow educators. When I first learned the steps of the Question Formulation Technique, I was skeptical about using it in my classroom because I thought it might take too much time away from "more important things". But now that I look back at my initial reaction, I realize that I was wrong--teaching students how to ask the right questions IS the most important skill that they could leave high school with. On the two occasions when I have done a QFT workshop for other teachers, I always compare teaching the QFT to a proverb about fishing--providing students with good questions is like giving them fish, which will feed them for a day, while teaching them HOW to ask good questions is like teaching them how to fish, which will feed them for a lifetime. If you don't agree with me that learning how to ask good questions is the most important skill a student can learn, then think about how many situations where people need to ask questions--the list is endless! Also, think about how being in the position to ask questions gives that person power because they are expecting an answer.
If you are still not convinced, let me give you a brief example from my own classroom. Recently, I taught the QFT on a day when I happened to be observed by my principal and a few other administrators from the district I teach in. The first thing the administrators did when they saw my students seated in small groups and asking questions, was to ask them what they were doing; by the end of the 5 minutes I gave them to do step 1 of the QFT (brainstorm questions), my students ended up asking the administrators questions! And so, the tables were turned.
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81 of 90 people found the following review helpful By KirstenP on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At $26, I'd hoped to learn more about how to put into practice the Right Question technique but I found the book didn't offer much more than the article the authors wrote in the Harvard Education Letter. Although they make clear the NEED for students to formulate their own questions, the classroom logistics are less clear. It would be helpful to have a blog created around the book/article for teachers with practical questions. For example, if students don't know much about a subject, their questions will be off-topic or shallow. How does a teacher front-load the requisite knowledge without losing student engagement? I have as many questions today as I did before I read the book.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Quatrano on September 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Anyone concerned with intellectual development -- specifically the emergence of critical thinking -- should consider reading this book: parents, teachers, school administrators, or citizens concerned with school reform. It's kind of shocking to think that, on the one hand, we've known forever that students' questions are incredibly valuable "teachable moments" and, on the other, how little we've invested in teaching that skill in the classroom. Rothstein and Santana outline a simple process with specific steps and lots of examples. What real teachers say about their experience using the question formulation technique in their classrooms says a lot. What students report is even better. Check it out.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By joseph j ayers on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was amazed by this book. I've been teaching for 10 years, working on my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction degree and I've never seen this process. The book not only talks about the theory, it shows you the method to get your students to start asking questions. I've always done something similar, but now that I have a definitive process to stick to, I'm going to. It succinctly bridges a gap between the scaffolding necessary for students to transition between direct instruction and constructivism ... specifically project-based learning. There are a few typos (outside the quotes) and it sometimes reads like an info-mercial. However, overall, this is book is worth the time and money. This is not a "magic bullet," but if done properly, will engage your students every time. I am starting to use it in my high school classroom and seeing amazing results. It broadens their creativity and critical thinking skills at the same time.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By jameseg on April 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
There's nothing wrong with the concept behind this book, and it's certainly well meaning in its attempt to redress student apathy (though it may be prudent to suggest that there are also some wider issues in education/society to examine), the issue is with the execution of how the teaching methodolgy is presented. The authors are not shy in patting themselves on the back and offering this up as cure all for general educational malaise, and this is reflected in the innumerable opportunities taken to squeeze in the 'QFT' acronym in virtually every sentence, making it appear as much a quasi-branding exercise as much as anything else. The result of which is that a fairly simple procedure is padded interminably, with the resulting text becoming infuriating to read. I constantly found myself wanting the authors to get to the point and dispense with the thickly coated marketing veneer. Boiled down to its essence, this would make a good one hour lecture at a conference.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By robert hornstein on June 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
What if there were an easy and free way to really turn your classroom around? What if it didn't involve electronics or additional personnel? Rothstein and Santana describe a technique that won't cost you a dime: teaching students to ask their own questions in the classroom. Did you hear that? Their own questions--not yours! An easy-to-learn and implement technique, followed by helpful classroom examples will help you to re-engage your students, and foster creativity and a love for learning. Highly recommended.
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Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
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