From Story To Judgment is a brilliant book about a hugely important topic. Social studies teachers need practical guidance in how to make their subject engaging, accessible, and meaningful—and how to make learning stick. That’s exactly what Jon Bassett and Gary Shiffman provide, in clear and lively prose.
Natalie Wexler, Author, The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—and How to Fix It (Avery 2019)
The 4QM Teaching Book Is Now Available!
From Story To Judgment is an overview of the Four Question Method, with practical advice about how to make it come to life in the classroom. Each chapter focuses on one of the Four Questions, and gives specific teaching examples from U.S. and world history. This is the foundational text for 4QM Teaching.
Free Download: 4QM Rubrics, Classroom Templates, and Playcard
Our book includes an appendix that has rubrics for evaluating responses to each question, templates of student-facing documents you can use in the classroom, and “playcards” that have suggestions of how to teach and assess each question. You can click the button below to download all of those materials for free.
Advance Praise for From Story to Judgment
In every field, there’s one book that tells you How To Really Do It. Marie Kondo’s Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. These books pierce a crowded field and become The One. If you’re a social studies teacher, you just found it. The Four Question Method is The One.
Mike Goldstein, Founder, Match Education
Jon and Gary are the biggest champions of social studies instruction out there! Not only do they celebrate the hard work of history teachers, but they make teaching such a complex discipline seem so much less daunting. The Four Question Method has revolutionized the way we think about developing curriculum and teaching students to think critically like historians.
Rebecca Lord Gomez, Senior Manager of History, Grades 5 – 8, at Uncommon Schools Network
This is a most impressive scheme. I love its elegance, efficiency, and communicability.
Peter Seixas, Professor and Canada Research Chair,University of British Columbia. Director, The Historical Thinking Project, and author, The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts
This is the book I needed as a history teacher, a school principal, and now training teachers in a master’s degree program. It should be in the hands of every social studies teacher and any program that trains them. From Story to Judgment provides absolute clarity around the key questions that drive social studies instruction and gives fantastic ideas for how to teach them in a rigorous and engaging way. It brings the “both and” approach that all good teaching requires by balancing learning the narrative and facts with developing deep, historical thinking skills that are essential for our students.”
James Verrilli, Dean, Relay Graduate School of Education, Co-Founder North Star Academy, Uncommon Schools
I just love the 4QM model—for refined, highly effective history teaching, it’s the very best I’ve seen.
Kevin Delaney, Social Studies Department Head, Wayland High School, Wayland MA
The Four Question Method is nothing short of a pedagogical breakthrough. Shiffman and Bassett are master teachers – this is an approach by teachers for teachers. It is practical, clear, and gets at the heart of why we teach history – to enable students to understand, reason, and think critically about their world.
Scott Gordon, CEO, Mastery Network of Schools (Philadelphia/Camden)
Bassett and Shiffman have hit a home run. With engaging writing, clear logic, and vivid examples, they demonstrate how four questions can be used to guide all social inquiry. The four question method is an invaluable tool for educators at all levels and for anyone interested in clarifying their thinking about the world around them.
Timothy Frye, Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Politics, Department of Political Science, Columbia University, Co-Director, ICSID, Higher School of Economics, Author of Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia, Editor, Post-Soviet Affairs
The four question method helps me understand why a lesson doesn’t work, and helps me plan lessons that work the first time. Most importantly, it gives me a blueprint for planning lessons that give students at all levels the keys to historical thinking and a sense of mastery.
Jennifer Morrill, History & Social Sciences Department Chair, Newton South HS, Newton MA
The four question method is the swiss army knife of history teaching: it gives me four tools, each with multiple uses. It cuts through all the red tape I have in my head about planning, and gives me and my students a clear and smart way to think about what we’re learning.
Alexander Hoyt, 5th Grade Teacher, Hudson Massachusetts public schools, winner of the Richard Aieta Promising New Teacher Award, Mass. Council of the Social Studies, 2019.
Four Questions Classroom Poster
Click below to purchase a Four Questions poster for your classroom. The poster is 18” x 24”, and the print is big enough to be seen from across the room. The $9.95 purchase price includes shipping and all applicable taxes!