Observations of early America by Alexis de Tocqueville helped articulate the nation's values. With the guidance of an inquiry based teacher, students create their own interpretations of democracy in America.
For subjects like math and foreign language, which are traditionally taught in a linear and highly structured context, using more open-ended inquiry-based models can be challenging. But inquiry learning is based on the premise that, with a little bit of structure and guidance, teachers can support students to ask questions that lead them to learn those same important skills -- in ways that are meaningful to them.
Universities say they're looking for students who are engaged citizens and independent thinkers with a desire to be a part of the school’s community. But many of the measures used to determine college admission don’t test for those qualities. Instead, colleges look at SAT or ACT test scores, the number of Advanced Placement classes a student has completed, GPAs and the ability to write a strong essay. There is often a disconnect between the kind of student colleges say they want and what students have to do to be admitted.
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 →
Getty “Polynomial functions!” “Trig identities!” “How about the properties? Commutative, associative, distributive.” So unfolded a laundry list of what a group of math teachers considered the more painful and less necessary concepts covered in the average high school math curriculum. The laments, aired at EduCon 2.5 in Philadelphia at Science Leadership Academy last weekend, were … Continue reading In Teaching Math, What’s the Right Mix of Content and Context? →
The following is an excerpt of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, by 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal, a senior at Syosset High School in Woodbury, New York. Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The real question is: “How do we teach it?” In school, instead of crossing subjects and classes, we teach … Continue reading Why Learning Should Be Messy →