The 2010 FNO Saigon Seminar
Monday, November 22 2010

The Question is the Answer

Join Jamie McKenzie at The Park Hyatt

2 Lam Son Square, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Tel: +84 8 3824 1234

Jamie McKenzie is an international speaker and writer who has devoted his career to understanding how to nurture the questioning skills of students. He is the author of several books that explore that challenge in depth.

Schools committed to inquiry learning are wise to invest in professional development that aims to sharpen the questioning skills of both teachers and students so that research into important issues is motivating, rigorous and productive.

Students must learn how to form webs of questions that lead to something more powerful than mere scooping and gathering of information.

This is a day devoted to questions, questioning and the development of powerful insights as well as original products.

The workshop does not include hands-on activities and there will not be access to the Internet.

You can register and pay on line for this conference at

Schedule of Events

Monday, November 22, 2010

8:45 AM - Registration

9:00 AM - 10:30

Beyond Cut-and-Paste:
Engaging Students in Making Good New Ideas

In this presentation Jamie outlines the prime strategies suggested in his new book by the same title. He begins with the need to replace topical research with inquiry that matters, challenges that require students to make answers instead of just finding them. He stresses the value of original thinking and proposes ways to grow the synthesis skills of students so they are capable of making up their own minds and inventing smart solutions to irksome issues and problems.

Laying the Groundwork
What do we mean by inquiry? How do questions and questioning support inquiry? What kinds of issues, challenges and concepts lend themselves most powerfully by various age groups? How will we know when they have moved from knowledge to understanding? When is inquiry worthy of student time and when is it mere ritual? How does a teacher orchestrate inquiry?

Why Synthesis?
Meaningful inquiry should take students beyond the mere gathering of information to the construction of new understandings. They will need a firm grounding in synthesis skills in order to combine the information in ways that may resolve puzzles and mysteries.

10:30 - 10:45 Morning Tea

10:45- Noon

Organizing Whole Units for Inquiry
How does a teacher plan so that individual students may pursue aspects of a major theme or issue in fruitful ways that may ultimately be woven together with the work of other students so that the "big picture" comes into focus?

Interpreting Findings and Cycling
Through the Stages of the Research Cycle

Because students do not know what they do not know at the outset of an investigation or inquiry, their initial questions rarely suffice and will need to be revised, deepened and extended as they gain knowledge. During this session participants will consider the value of the Research Cycle as a guide for extended inquiry

Modeling Techniques, Skills and Attitudes
The teacher provides an ongoing stream of mini lessons as the inquiry proceeds so that students benefit from "just in time instruction," acquiring new skills as they are needed. Real student growth depends upon careful monitoring and well timed intervention by the teacher.

Noon  -  1:00 PM
Lunch is included in the seminar cost.    

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

A Taxonomy of Synthetic Thought and Production

In this session, Jamie explains how his new Taxonomy can help teachers and their students determine the degree to which a particular production is original or is merely a knock-off, imitation or copy. For those placing a high priority on originality this is a Taxonomy that will inspire and guide student work in powerful ways.

Creating New Ideas and Possibilities through Lateral Thinking and Wandering Purposefully

Little attention is devoted in most schools to what Edward DeBono has called "lateral thinking" - the exploration of unusual possibilities, yet it is precisely this kind of thinking that fuels innovation, invention and activities like disaster planning. In this session, Jamie provides a rationale for developing this kind of thinking and shares strategies that teachers may employ to nurture both the attitudes and skills required so they are capable of "thinking outside the box."

Communicating, Reporting, Persuading and Sharing Powerfully
Once students have grasped important ideas, there are many options for sharing their findings, some of which are more effective than others. This session will focus on reporting options that require a high degree of potency.

Assessing Student Growth and Performance
How might teachers engage students in self-assessment and how can teachers augment those assessment activities with other measures that serve to guide the program along while also giving a sound view of individual progress?


One Day - $ 165.00 USD

This covers the workshop and morning tea/coffee as well as lunch.

The first 25 who register and pay online at will receive a complimentary copy of Jamie's newest book, Beyond Cut-and-Paste at the workshop. (Retail value = $20 USD)

Additional discount for schools sending 5+ staff members. Email Jamie at

for details.