Fed up with the restrictions at his conventional school, 10-year-old Scott Gray convinced his parents to transfer him to one where children control their own education. His father, Peter Gray, who's a developmental psychologist, watched his son thrive and began seeking to understand how children learned in such a setting, and what lessons could be drawn from it.
“So,” Juárez Correa said, “what do you want to learn?”
Correa asked his students this question in an attempt to bring student-centered learning to an impoverished Mexican town located near a dump where it’s not uncommon to find dead bodies on the street. With that question, Correa not only gave his students something to look forward to in coming to school, but also a clear path to “measurable” achievement.
When students engage in quality projects, they develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions that serve them in the moment and in the long term. There are several ways to start designing projects. Here are six steps that will help you get started.
As education continues the march toward a student-driven, project-oriented approach that values intelligent solutions to open-ended problems, it won’t be sufficient to focus on the wonderful discoveries and authentic work that result from an inquiry-based system. Instead, a far more difficult issue will come to the fore: How will we know if inquiry-based learning is successful, and what non-standardized measures of achievement, like better attitude, apply?
Educator Ramsey Musallam says that a teacher's strongest tool -- the force that draws students deeper into learning -- is piquing students' curiosity. In his classroom, Musallam follows three rules: curiosity comes first, embrace the mess, and reflect and revise.
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 … Continue reading 5 Tools to Help Students Learn How to Learn →
Scientists are always uncovering new ways into how people learn best, and some of the most recent neuroscience research has shown connections between basic survival functions, social and emotional reactions to the world, and creative impulses. Students’ social and emotional reactions to learning are imperative to feeling motivated to learn and to their ability to … Continue reading How Emotional Connections Can Trigger Creativity and 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 … Continue reading Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning →