Summer: the perfect time to slow down and cultivate the skill of asking questions.
Here are some professional development resources and opportunities which can take your skill to the next level.
1. An online course: Socrates and the Battle for the Soul of America
America is deeply divided on so many levels. Now more than ever we need big questions to explore these divisions and encourage our students to take action to improve society.
Play the role of Socrates and…
- Design four Big Questions
- Apply disciplinary tools to analyze those questions;
- Evaluate and select sources relevant to the questions;
- Craft four lessons to engage students in open dialogue to understand and take informed action when differences may arise.
- Reflect upon the value of teacher/student questions and the challenges and possibilities of students taking informed action to improve society. Learn More
I am excited to work with NCSS to serve as one of the instructors for this course!
2. A conference: Right Questions Institute summer events in the Question Formulation Technique (QFT).
This simple and powerful strategy shows teachers how to get students to ask their own questions.
Here is a great article from ASCD on the nuts and bolts of the QFT technique. Also consider joining RQI’s Educator Network.
I will be one of the presenters at the Chicago conference on June 28th.
3. A Workshop: IllinoisCivics.org
Civic education workshops are being held all over Illinois to help teachers meet the new Illinois civics requirements and social studies standards. In these workshops teachers will receive a whole host of FREE resources including strategies for how to craft and use compelling questions in the context of lesson planning.
Here are a list of workshops from June to August.
4. Webinars and Workshops from NCSS
Southeast IDM Workshop
The Southeast IDM™ Summer Institute will be at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, June 5-6, 2018.
Sponsored by C3 Teachers and National Council for the Social Studies, the Southeastern IDM Institute will feature hands-on opportunities for teachers to develop inquiry materials for use in their classrooms and to join a larger community of educators who share an interest in invigorating their classrooms through inquiry-based teaching and learning. ( Text from NCSS.org )
5. A few good books:
A More Beautiful Question, by Warren Berger
In this groundbreaking book, journalist and innovation expert Warren Berger shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool–one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning—deeply, imaginatively, “beautifully”–can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. So why are we often reluctant to ask “Why?” (From Amazon.com)
Make Just One Change– Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana
This book introduces the QFT strategy mentioned above and describes in detail how to use it successfully. It is a quick and meaningful read.
The 60-Second Philosopher, by Andrew Pessin
Offered in 60 bite-sized chapters, this book provokes, cajoles and entices students into considering deep, philosophical questions.
I profiled the 60-Second Philosopher in a previous post.