I have been asked to keep this blog to record the why’s and how’s of what I do at the beginning of the school year. It is my goal this year to set up my class right from September to help students navigate their own learning through inquiry.
Inquiry means a lot of different things to different teachers. For me, this process involves students taking control of what and how they are learning. It involves knowing yourself as a learner – or discovering things about yourself as we go along that will help you in other areas. It’s about curiosity, investigation and asking questions; knowing how to find answers; presenting and sharing your work with others; self-reflection and evaluation; choice and above all – talking, talking, talking, about what you are learning and doing. It can be overwhelming to say the least.
I know from experience that teaching through inquiry is messy. It is entirely dependent on the strengths and interests of the students in front of you at any given time. What works for one group might not necessarily work for another. Some students haven’t had any experience with choice and won’t know how to get started. Others will. I’ve had to shift my own ideas about teaching and learning to accommodate this process as well. The way I plan, deliver and reflect on my lessons will have to be different.
So – be prepared for some confusion and frustration from both me and my students! My sincere hope is that those moments are overshadowed by some really authentic and engaging learning.
I’m excited to see how this goes.