For me teaching is all about the inquiry process. And teaching through inquiry allows you to meet all the minds in the classroom.
Now before I get too far in my post maybe I should articulate what I mean by inquiry, as I know there are many variations of the process out there.
Throughout my teaching career my journey through inquiry has undergone a lot of changes. When I first started teaching I thought what I did was inquiry. I would plan lessons that were hands-on, engaging, thought provoking and had plenty of talk built in. Students would often be engaged with problems, experiments or activities that required them to think, problem solve and then discuss. Now I know many of you are thinking but isn't that inquiry and you are correct.
According to Google, inquiry is:
Now why do I love inquiry so much:
The first is that I love it engages the students in the learning. They feel situated and invested. They want to learn because they like to learn. I even have students going home and asking their parents to go to the library or go and research because they want to find more things out about the topic they learn in school. I don't know about you but this is truly amazing to hear.
Second through inquiry you really understand the nature of your students learning. Because I am not lecturing and then asking students to complete a test where they regurgitate the information I just spewed out at them they have to rely on their own thinking and schemas. You also get to question them and conference more on a regular bases and because of this you see their growth and understanding. Assessment is a breeze because you have almost too many observations and conversations to choose from.
Finally, I look at this world around us and I think that the jobs I am preparing my students for don't even exist yet. Now you are right some jobs will exist put for the most part the skills that these students need will not. However, what will is the ability to problem-solve, be adaptable, creative, and flexible thinkers.
I recently came upon this:
I love the fact that the first three skills are soft skills, one that you really cannot learn from reading a textbook or listening to someone tell you things. They are skills that take time to develop and through multiple experiences and situations. In my opinion inquiry does this.
Now these are just my opinions but ones that have been grounded in my practise. They are observations of my growth and reflection. Would love to hear your thoughts?
What do you think of inquiry?
Do you like it? If so why?
What are the benefits? Drawbacks?
I would love to hear your opinions.