Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents Photo credit: iStockphoto International educator Scot Hoffman is a big believer in the power of curiosity to drive learning. After nearly two decades of teaching around the globe, he also realizes that school isn't always so hospitable to inquiring minds. (As Einstein said, "It's a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.") That's why Hoffman has developed The Curiosity Project, a self-directed learning experience that engages students, parents, and teachers as collaborators in inquiry. I first met Hoffman a couple years ago during a visit to the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India. Here are highlights of our recent conversations about The Curiosity Project. What was the inspiration for this idea? Scot Hoffman: In about my third year of teaching -- this was back in the 1990s -- there were a couple students I just wasn't reaching. Another inspiration was a set of questions that a former professor, Dr. What is curiosity? What did you notice? How has the project evolved?
Caine's Arcade | A cardboard arcade made by a 9-year-old boy. Library Girl's Picks: The Best Digital Tools for Formative Assessment On Monday, I had the opportunity to participate in another fab edition of the TL Virtual Cafe webinar series. This month's PD offering was an "Edutech Smackdown" featuring the Queen of All Things Library: Joyce Valenza. I love these smackdown sessions because they are the ultimate crowdsourced PD. Everybody grabs a slide (or two or ten) and when their time comes, takes the mic to share something they love. They are fun, fast paced and the cream always seems to rise to the top. Delish! That said, for my few minutes with the mic, I decided to focus my attention on formative assessment. Which brings me back to formative assessment. When incorporated into a lesson, formative assessment provides the teacher librarian with a snapshot of the teaching and learning while it is still happening. Obviously, this is not rocket science. Admit/Exit Tickets are a beloved formative assessment strategy. Graphic organizers are another great formative assessment tool. Amen, sister.
5 Tools to Help Students Learn How to Learn Helping students learn how to learn: That’s what most educators strive for, and that’s the goal of inquiry learning. That skill transfers to other academic subject areas and even to the workplace where employers have consistently said that they want creative, innovative and adaptive thinkers. Inquiry learning is an integrated approach that includes kinds of learning: content, literacy, information literacy, learning how to learn, and social or collaborative skills. Students think about the choices they make throughout the process and the way they feel as they learn. Those observations are as important as the content they learn or the projects they create. “We want students thinking about their thinking,” said Leslie Maniotes a teacher effectiveness coach in the Denver Public Schools and one of the authors of Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century. “When they are able to see where they came from and where they got to it is very powerful for them.”
Why Inquiry Learning is Worth the Trouble Visualization of SLA principal Chris Lehmann's 2011 talk: guiding kids' to thinking about how they think. Nearly seven years after first opening its doors, the Science Leadership Academy public magnet high school* in Philadelphia and its inquiry-based approach to learning have become a national model for the kinds of reforms educators strive towards. But in a talk this past weekend at EduCon 2.5, the school’s sixth-annual conference devoted to sharing its story and spreading its techniques, Founding Principal Chris Lehmann insisted that replicating his schools approach required difficult tradeoffs. “This is not easy. This is not perfect,” Lehmann told a crowd of devotees stuffed inside one of the Center City school’s second-floor science classrooms on Sunday. “There are really challenging pieces of this, and we should be OK with this.” “Inquiry means living in the soup. “To me it comes down to process,” Lehmann said. “Oh God, yeah,” Lehmann said in response to the latter teacher. Related
Is School Enough? Documentary Film Delves In A documentary film premiering on public television today — “Is School Enough?” — takes the viewer inside the lives of teens from various backgrounds and reveals the importance of tapping into students’ passions to drive their learning. These are some of the covered topics. Students at English High School in Boston helped pilot a social networking and planning tool called Community Planit. “I’m always trying to keep my ear to the ground to get my kids involved with meaningful projects,” said Xavier Rozas, instruction technology coordinator at English High School. “If it’s real and it’s meaningful and the kids understand it and they understand what putting their effort into something is going to deliver, they will go hard and do their best.” “At first when he brought it up I didn’t know what to do because we’re teens and he basically wanted us to act like adults, to speak up like adults,” said Xavier, an English High School student who participated in the project. Related
The Challenges and Realities of Inquiry-Based Learning Inquiry Learning Teaching Strategies Getty By Thom Markham Teachers in a rural southeast Michigan high school were recently discussing the odd behavior of the senior class. The teachers’ explanation: Project-based learning. Here’s the back story. Stories like this are about to become more important to educators. This is a steep challenge because it forces education to cross a philosophic divide. Standardizing Valuable Skills To put a new system in place, a first key step is to disseminate and train every teacher on a clear set of performance standards to assess skills required for effective inquiry, such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. The challenge: Right now, a standards-based environment forces teachers to straddle the inquiry process. Assessing Collaborative Learning The iconic model of the individual scholar has been replaced by team-based inquiry. Making Depth of Thinking Evident The challenge: In inquiry, process is as critical as the product.
Seeing, wondering, theorizing, learning: Inquiry-based instruction with Kishia Moore There they go — Mitchell County teacher Kishia Moore and her class of seventeen first graders — up Gem Mountain not far from their school, Greenlee Primary, to pan for gemstones for use in their NC Standard Course of Study-mandated science unit on minerals. And here the kids come, back down the hill, dirty, damp, and hauling impossibly heavy — for the kids’ size, that is — loads of rocks that during the next five to six weeks, they will study, sort, measure, weigh, scratch, break if possible, discuss, compare, draw pictures of, polish in noisy rock tumblers, and, ultimately, fashion into items of jewelry. If Ms. Moore employed traditional teaching methods, her next tasks would be to explain the sorting and measuring processes and then direct her students through those processes. The definition Ms. The theory Ms. How, it may be legitimately asked, can traditional teaching methods be characterized as obstructing learning? Answers Ms. The method Ms. Next, Ms. Classroom activity Thinking maps
Reading Comprehension and Considerate Text, Teaching Today, Glencoe Online Inquiry-Based Approaches to Learning Few things excite teachers more than when their students take over the role of grand inquisitor. When students begin formulating questions, risking answers, probing for relationships, we know they've entered the zone where learning occurs. Not surprisingly, few things excite students more than when they are actively engaged in learning so much so that they forget the clock. These experiences are the goal of inquiry-based learning, an active, student-centered, educational method whose roots go back to the educational philosopher John Dewey. The basis of the inquiry-based approach is to facilitate student-generated questions as the core part of the learning process. After students learn effective questioning techniques, they begin researching to pursue answers and will, consequently, make their own discoveries. What are the steps of inquiry-based learning? What makes inquiry-based education different? What are the advantages to inquiry-based learning?
Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution? “Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind,” said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive public school Science Leadership Academy for many years. Laufenberg provided some insight into how she guided students to find their own learning paths at school, and enumerated some of these ideas at SXSWEdu last week. 1. Laufenberg recalled a group of tenacious students who continued to ask permission to focus their video project on the subject of drugs, despite her repeated objections. 2. Laufenberg’s answer: Get them curious enough in the subject to do research on their own. “Rather than saying, ‘We’re going to study immigration,’ I took them through a process where they become interested in it themselves,” she said. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Related
TWT: Inquiry-based Learning Strategy What is Inquiry-based learning? The old adage, “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand” describes the core of inquiry-based learning. Inquiry is the process of seeking truth, information, or knowledge by questioning. Questioning! That is the key. The process of inquiring begins with gathering information and data through applying the human senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Inquiry-based learning processes vary. How does inquiry-based learning encourage student learning? Memorizing facts and information is not the most important skill in today’s world. What does inquiry-based learning look like in the classroom? The following example elaborates on the five steps listed above: questioning, planning and predicting, investigating, recording and reporting, and reflecting. Additional Information on the Five Steps for Inquiry-based Learning Questioning, Planning and Predicting, Investigating, Recording and Reporting, and Reflecting.
Learning Science Through Inquiry Frequently Asked Questions About Inquiry Workshop 1 | Workshop 2 | Workshop 3 | Workshop 4 | Workshop 5 Workshop 6 | Workshop 7 | Workshop 8 Contributing Authors: Christine Collier - principal of the Center for Inquiry, a K-8 magnet/option school in the Indianapolis Public School district Judith Johnson - associate professor of science education at the University of Central Florida; associate director of the Lockheed Martin/University of Central Florida Academy of Mathematics and Science Lisa Nyberg - assistant professor in the education department at California State University, Fresno Virginia Lockwood - staff developer and consultant, District 2 New York City 1. Inquiry teaching is allowing students’ questions and curiosities to drive curriculum. 2. In an inquiry-based classroom, students aren't waiting for the teacher or someone else to provide an answer — instead, they are actively seeking solutions, designing investigations, and asking new questions. 3. top 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.