How to Design a Classroom Built on Inquiry, Openness and Trust
Teachers who are interested in shifting their classrooms often don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming, frightening, and even discouraging, especially when no one else around you seems to think the system is broken. A question I’m asked often is, “Where should a teacher begin?” Should teachers just let students go or is there a process to good student-centered inquiry? I’ve reflected on this a fair amount, and I think small strategic steps are the key. I think letting students “go” without any structure will likely create failure, especially if students haven’t spent much time collaborating. Many teachers have likely engaged in some type of inquiry or project-based learning, but with frustrating or dismal results. When I start with a new group of students, the design is tight. I’ve also discovered I need to teach the difference between collaboration and cooperation. Start with creating one inquiry unit in one subject. Talk to your students about their learning — a lot.
Related: Inquiry-Based Learning
• Essentials of Education Continued ~Part III~