Presentation on theme: "Inquiry as a Stance on Curriculum: Moving from Projects to Inquiry Kathy G. Short University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona, USA Burlington, Wisconsin,"— Presentation transcript:
1 Inquiry as a Stance on Curriculum: Moving from Projects to Inquiry Kathy G. Short University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona, USA Burlington, Wisconsin, 2010
2 INQUIRY AS STANCEStance of uncertainty and invitationA reaching stance – go beyond information to seek an explanationStance of going beyond yourself and your current understandingsStance of being off balanceDefinition: Inquiry is a collaborative process of connecting to and reaching beyond current understandings to explore tensions significant to the learnerPermeates everything! Inquiry is not just a time of the day. Inquiry is not an adaptation it is a philosophical approach. It is not just research either. Be sure to send an invitation. That sense of being slightly being off balance drives you to learn. If you have no tension, you’ll be stuck. Help kids find those tensions. Collaborative practice of explore tensions that are significant to them. Kids get involved in research to complete an assignment. Talk about the very edge of knowing. ???
3 Inquiry as a Pedagogical Philosophy Inquiry is natural to how we learn in places of wonder and discovery Inquiry is natural to how we learn Inquiry is based in making connections to our own life experiences Inquiry is conceptually-based, not topic-driven. Inquiry involves both problem-posing and problem-solving Inquiry is collaborative and invites learners into communities of practiceInquiry as a Pedagogical PhilosophyWho is the person you think about when you think of someone who inquires?Approach to curriculum – curriculum as fact! Research copy/and cover page! Study just for the test! _ Let’s not replicate that!Curriculum as activity/project - in depth thinking missing! The teacher is in control and working harder than the students. Get beyond the facts. Kids collect facts and the unit is done. We need something MORE!Curriculum as inquiry - Inquiry is natural to how we learn in places of wonder and discovery. Use materials from theme units in a different way. Engage the students with the materials so that the unit is not done…What does the actual reading process look like? Insights about inquiry come from little kids and folks who are not in school. We need to bring this into school context.Little kids immerse themselves in LIFE! Exploring leads to new investigations and new questions.A young child’s sense of wonder and awe!If no one makes you do it, it counts as fun! School knowledge and ACTION knowledge - Let’s try to keep the ACTION knowledge box open during the school day.
4 Creating a learning environment that encourages inquiry as a stance Wonder Center and Wonder of the WeekInquiry Wall and Inquiry Talks or Inquiry JournalsObservation and Wonder JournalsDiscovery TableObservation WindowGeorgia Heard, A Place for Wonder, and Karen Gallas, Science TalksWisdom schools are needed instead of knowledge factories.The Wise Woman and Her Secret – Take the time to look closely. Use all your senses. Keep on wandering and wondering. It’s a natural process!Where are the places that our students get excited in our schools, classrooms, playgrounds? Where would they draw their X on the favorite place? How do you create a learning environment that encourages and shows that curiosity is valued? Think about Georgia Heard’s work.Post questions on the wonder wall. What you post can not be something you already know the answer to ? The Wonder of the Week center – the question that the class chose from the Wonder Wall. Wonders drawn from their lives! Encourage our students by record on the walls – ways to research,Inquiry talks and inquiry journals - choose a question that is personally important to themPlaces of observation around the room - observation journal near the window and the Discovery Table with things such as magnifiying glass, treasurersSee, hear, smell, feel
5 Inquiry Personal inquiry Collaborative inquiry Guided Inquiry Children as problem-posers and problem-solversCollaborative inquiryTeacher and child collaborate on problem-posing. Child as problem-solver.Guided InquiryTeacher as problem-poser, child as problem-solver.Inquiry is based in connection! A significant connection to the child’s lifeStart with kids’ stories as a place to beingInquiry is conceptual rather than topic based. Topic based is very limited! Water as the topic – limited availability of water is the conceptual basePicture book – Tower to the Sun - read aloud and then discuss – start the unit with the concept – example – availability of water as it relates to children’s livesIf the focus is just facts and skills, there is no reason to use the inquiry learning approach.Bring the student INTO the study by starting with the conceptual base. The notion of children’s choice.Personal inquiry is crucial. Example: cultural x-ray what is seen on the outside, what is felt on the insideProblem posing and problem solving is what we must do when asking students in their research.You can’t think critically about which you know nothing about! Frank Smith quoteProblem posing is a thinking strategy. One must be a problem-poser in order to be a critical thinker. Examine the phenomenon, design the experiment when you find a question about which you examined.Inquiry is collaborative. Go beyond yourself. Go beyond your current understandings. Use dialogue as a strategy – thinking WITH others to collaborate with peers. Listen, build on what was said, contribute,Collaborative communitiesPersonal inquiry can be accomplished in the silent sustained reading times. Expert projectsGuided inquiry = curriculum inquiry
6 Inquiry CycleShort way to go about inquiry learning - ALWAYS BEGIN WITH Connection – example students who saw the ocean for the first time. Bring in artifacts from homeReading frenzy! I wonder charts are filled in each day. Then look back as a group/class to see which questions are the most significant. Group the related questions – to help the pare down the questions and help to limit the number of groups.Keep the agency in the hands of the kids. Go public! This looks different for the various kids. What difference does it make that we all know this? Inquiry learning INVITES children into the learning.Compare a typical fairy tale unit to an inquiry fairy tale unit. Start with conceptual base. What do you know about Cinderella? Reading frenzy – and record students’ observationsStudents created the charting because they were engaged in the learning.
7 Connections Focus on BIG IDEA and not topic Why do this unit? What is the biggest idea behind our central idea?Where is this big idea already present and significant in children’s lives?What are engagements that support our students in exploring this idea in their lives to develop conceptual understanding?Read alouds, observation, survey, interview, time lines, artifacts to bring related to the idea, sketches, flowcharts, etc.Voice, trust, listen, storyArtifacts, baskets, I wonder journal that travels from table to table, then composed group inquiries for explorationInterview other students is one way to make connectionsWhy do we teach this unit?Work to create patterns – children need to do it
8 Invitations to go beyond current perspectives, experiences, knowledge Guided inquiry into 2-3 main lines of inquiryBe selective – goal is not coverage but expanding knowledge to build understanding and raise tensionEngage kids actively in exploration – exploration centers, text sets, book & toy setsStart closest to kidsChoose key pieces of fictionPlanning to plan – plan emerges in negotiation with studentsTime, choice, observation, conversationUse literature to spark
9 Tension An issue/question/interest that is compelling to the student Based in the central idea and“big idea”Need ways to gather tensions throughout invitations – charts, journals, logs, teacher recordsProblem-posingrisk, edge, selectionListen to the kids’ questions, but write them down!
10 Investigations student-driven focused inquiry into a tension Decide on grouping – whole class, small group, partner, individualCreate a plan –Why are we interested in this question/focus?What are the related questions?What will we do to pursue our question?What do we need? How will we get the resources?Research sets and primary sourcesTools for researchDisciplines – ways of researching and toolsCollaborate, dialogue, inquire
11 Demonstrations teaching based on student needs Demonstration versus modeling – what you might do versus what you must doContentProcess – tools and skillsProcess of researchrelevance, tools, strategies
12 Re-Vision Reflecting and making sense of learning Focus on what is different or challenges current beliefsTime to reflect and think about what meanings students are making from their inquiriesBrief – sort out moments of significanceLearning logs, class meetings, exit slips, written conversation, think/pair/shareSearch for unity, attend to differenceLearning log, class meeting, How does what you are learning …?
13 Representations going public with current understandings Pull current understandings from investigations together to go publicGo public through sharing webs, charts, mural, skits, reports, etc.Can be formal or informalWhat is so important that we want to share these ideas with everyone? How can we share?Transformation, presentationWhen you are forced to pull everything together, it is when you find out what you learned.
14 Valuation What is of value for me as a learner from this inquiry? Summative evaluation is of central ideaContent and ProcessPortfolio, reflections, class discussions, sketch to stretch, webs, informal assessments, presentations, etc.reflexivity, clarify values
15 Reposition, take action, new questions Action - So What?What difference does this inquiry make in my life?How does it reposition me in how I think and act?What are my new questions?Reposition, take action, new questionsStrategy called Say Something:
16 Connect/Extend/Challenge How are the ideas CONNECTED to what you already know?What new ideas did you get that EXTENDED or pushed your thinking in new directions?What is still CHALLENGING or confusing for you to get your mind around? What questions or tensions do you now have?
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