Teaching Students to ASK Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions

1 Units
Credit Validation

Course Description

Credit Validation for National Geographic Society Only

This course is designed to provide a deeper understanding of how to formulate Geo-Inquiry Questions in the first phase of the Geo-Inquiry Process, ASK. It was developed in partnership with the Right Question Institute (RQI). Educators will experience formulating questions using the Question Formulation Technique (QFT). The QFT empowers students with the strategies and tools to formulate their own questions—for participation, self-advocacy, and lifelong learning, activating the curiosity that leads to exploration. The course begins with a reflection on the educators’ relationship to asking questions, and the norms and expectations for students’ questions in their classroom. Educators will experience the QFT to develop geographic questions. Next, educators will explore the Geo-Inquiry Process tools that will help their students develop their own Geo-Inquiry Questions. Finally, educators will develop a QFT/Geo-Inquiry Question Implementation Plan that integrates the QFT and the ASK phase of the Geo-Inquiry Process.

Make sure you are enrolled in the Teaching Students to ASK Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions course with the National Geographic Society. Visit the National Geographic Society website to enroll in this course.

Course Schedule:

Session 1: The Importance of ASKing Questions for Exploration and Agency

Explore the importance of curiosity and examine the connection between curiosity, questioning, and more equitable, democratic participation.

Session 2: Discovering the Question Formulation Technique (QFT)

Experience the steps of the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) as a strategy for teaching students to ask, refine and iterate on their own questions.

Session 3: The QFT as a Springboard for Geographic Questions

Investigate the characteristics of geographic thinking and geographic questions, review the Geo-Inquiry Process, and learn how to design an effective Question Focus (QFocus).

Session 4: ASKing, Refining, and Working with Geo-Inquiry Questions

Practice combining the QFT and National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Process tools to ask geographic questions and then refine them into a Geo-Inquiry Question.

Session 5: Planning to Use the QFT and the Geo-Inquiry Process in Your Classroom

Compare and interpret how teachers tailor additional steps of the QFT and use that knowledge to complete the QFT/Geo-Inquiry Question Implementation Plan.

Course Details

Number of Units: 1.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Who Should Attend: This course provides continuing education for K-12 Educators in all subject areas - and informal educators - who seek to implement the inquiry-based Geo-Inquiry Process in their educational settings.



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Course Date Units Price

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the connection between curiosity, questioning, and more equitable, democratic participation as you explore the philosophy and pedagogy of question formulation
  • Apply a central strategy, The Question Formulation Technique (QFT), and examine best practices for planning and facilitating the development of a Geo-Inquiry Question with the QFT
  • Examine how the QFT can be integrated into the ASK phase of the Geo-Inquiry Process to help students ask geographic questions that springboard into the development of a Geo-Inquiry Question
  • Create an implementation plan that helps students generate geographic and Geo-Inquiry Questions by integrating the QFT and other Geo-Inquiry Process tools and strategies
  • Share and reflect on your teaching practice in a collaborative online environment
  • Complete readings, view videos, and other related content
  • Complete each session’s “Checking for Understanding”
  • Submit at least two to three, 100-plus word posts to the discussion forum every week (this includes both new discussion threads that you start as well as replies to your peers)
  • Complete and submit the QFT/Geo-Inquiry Question Implementation Plan
  • Complete two course surveys


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