Establishing a collaborative space Philosophy of inquiry Curiosity and the Fundamental Flip Compelling questions Planning an inquiry lesson Role of unpacked outcomes and assessment Engaging students in the process Developing a tool box
Learning occurs when we shift from professional certainty to conscious curiosity, from isolated individual to collaborative community member, and from passive technician to active researcher. The pursuit of meaningful questions arises from thoughtful data analysis, careful problem framing, and ongoing monitoring of gaps between goal achievement and current condition.
…is based on the belief that understanding is constructed in the process of people working and conversing together as they pose and solve the problems, make discoveries and rigorously test the discoveries that arise in the course of shared activity. Galileo.org website
Construct deep knowledge and deep understanding rather than passively receiving information. Are actively involved and engaged in the discovery of new knowledge. Encounter alternate perspectives and different ideas. Transfer prior knowledge into deep understandings through new learning experiences. Take ownership for their own learning. Are resilient because they come to understand that learning takes time and perseverance. Practice creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and efficacy.
It boils down to the quality of learning we desire for those we are charged to educate. Do we want them simply to memorize facts and procedures in order to pass a test? Or do we want them to want to know, to seek to know, and ultimately, to understand themselves and their world more deeply as a result of their knowing? Diane Parker, 2007
…you wonder about something and you want to know it—in fact you’re driven to know it because it’s intriguing, puzzling, fascinating, and/or personally meaningful to you. Diane Parker, 2007
Moving from answering to asking Moving from solving to seeking Moving from definitive to open-ended
In a genuine inquiry, the topic itself matters far less than the attitude kids and teachers take toward it. If they are moved to ask why, to wonder who thinks otherwise, to explore what other strange things just might be connected to this one little problem, then they are in an inquiry space. Clifford & Marinucci, 2008
Inquiry relies on problems that are of emerging relevance to students. However, relevance does not have to be pre-existing for students. Relevance can emerge through teacher mediation.
What kinds of learning excites students? How do you know when they are excited? What kinds of learning excites you?
Consider authentic and engaging audiences and purposes!
Develop a culture of wonder in your classroom. Encourage students to ask questions which lead to more questions. Write the questions down. Create situations in which wonder and questions can grow. Provide access to multiple resources. Design classroom areas for stimulation, contemplation and idea generation.
Use a variety of texts to cultivate curiosity. Connect to personal artifacts and experiences. Take students beyond their “four walls.” Offer language frames such as I wonder…, I think…, This is what I see…, This is what it tells me… Encourage personal responses and personal connections. Consider before, during and after strategies in every subject. Play, invite exploration, experiment, simulate and laugh.
How will this look “in the end”? Important to clarify to students and self why the understandings generated in the inquiry are important. Helps to determine what to do with the gathered information (collect, save, synthesize, etc.)
Formative (Exit card) Formative (StudentsAchieve) 8 Day Example (The final formative) Helps to clarify studying and extra learning needs prior to the summative event Can be entered into SA Invites differentiation Gives information for Professional Judgement Can support constructive conversation
Well-formulated inquiry questions are broad in scope and rich in possibilities. Such questions encourage students to explore, observe, gather information, plan, analyze, interpret, synthesize, problem solve, apply critical and creative thinking, take risks, create, conclude, document, reflect on learning, and develop new questions for further inquiry.
What does it mean to be normal? Why can’t we just get along? (global relations) What is childhood? What are we eating and what does it mean for our planet? Why do we do things that are bad for us, even when we know better? How does being heroic mean different things for different people? Why should I care about other people’s stories? What does it mean to misbehave? Who decides?
Students have to learn that their opinions and knowledge are important. Learning is not about right or wrong. Students have been trained to only give knowledge when it reflects what the teachers know. Constructing knowledge is a risk for students. Students will sometimes show impatience with the thinking process when they perceive it as an impediment to “getting the work done.”
We are an answer- oriented society This is challenging for students We have to teach children to be curious again
Why is it so hard for people to take care of the environment? How do we NOT care for our world?
Non-sustainable practices are based on conflicting needs
As a team, generate questions that get at the heart of your chosen topic. Don`t worry about filtering – this is a general brainstorm (it usually takes time to get to the compelling layer of questions). Record your questions on Google Docs. We will look at all questions and choose the most compelling together!
Hook and compelling questions Explore and assess Regroup and Re-question Explore and assess Regroup and re-question Explore Assess
What else do we need to know? How can we continue to explore this complex question? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Ask good questions Break problems into parts Look for patterns Rely on evidence Consider other perspectives Follow hunches Use familiar ideas in new ways Collaborate with others Welcome critique Revise repeatedly Persist Seek new challenges Know yourself
With inquiry, students know what learning looks like!
Sometimes considering how you will organize your classroom (learning space) will facilitate inquiry. Move the focus away from teacher-centered, to flexible learning areas. http://vimeo.com/7450433
That students will focus only on littering and pollution. That students will all look at Google as their only resource. That some students will work and some won’t. That I won’t know where to go next...
Ask: What is a resource? Give the answer so they stay on track Stop group work or limit to pairs Give them the resources they need Direct their explorations Quit inquiry...takes too much time
Observe students very carefully...notice tangents and monitor progress Let students stay in places for a while Plan to come together twice a day only Resources needs graphic? Video? Article? Playground walk as “hook” Group norms and expectations (backfilling) Together apart together apart
How can I avoid giving answers? How can I encourage students to come to their own understanding? How can I make this compelling? Interesting? Engaging? How can I stay out of it for longer? Talk less? Do less of the work? How can I be okay with ideas that aren’t exactly what I think they should be? How can I come to recognize healthy struggle from unhealthy struggle?
Invite students to develop the competencies necessary to build on, not just consume or borrow, other people’s ideas. Require students to use digital technologies to think with not just consume or produce a “polished product.”
Teachers seek and value their students’ points of view Classroom activities challenge students’ suppositions Teachers pose problems of emerging relevance Teachers build lessons around primary concepts and big ideas Teachers assess student learning in the context of daily teaching
Opportunities to ponder the questions, form their own responses, and accept the risk of sharing their thoughts with others.
“When posing problems for students to consider and study, it’s crucial to avoid isolating the variables for the students, to avoid giving them more information than they need or want, and to avoid simplifying the complexity of the problem too early. Complexity often serves to generate relevance and, therefore, interest. It is oversimplification that students find confusing.” Brooks and Brooks, 1999