Monday, October 27, 2008

Inquiry reflection #1 (as part of CFF class)

I love the CFF classes that we take. The third class is called Inquiry Learning. I think it will be great and definitely where I am headed with my teaching. I am sure I will be discussing what I do as I have to use action research as well.

For our first reflection (which bear with me, it is better here as a blog post than static on my computer) we are to describe patterns in society where inquisitiveness is not evident.

The examples we read include (all of these are summed up here at ASCD):
  • Texas A&M bonfire disaster
  • The Challenger explosion
  • NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy
  • Not detaining Moussaoui just prior to Sept. 11th
All of these examples show where lack of questioning led to disastrous results.

How is inquisitiveness not evident in schools? I would say that many of the activities and aspects in our teaching day show a lack of inquisitiveness. From personnel to duties to management tasks, much of what we do should be overhauled. There are many "elephants in the room" as well. Those truths that no one speaks about. Let's face it, even if you questioned something, you come off as divisive and a trouble maker. Those who really get by don't rock the boat. Many good people leave.

Lack of inquisitiveness seems to be everywhere. Students and generally their parents don't have it. The current Presidential election and conservation/climate change would be an example. Clay Burrell demonstrates how questioning and searching for truth can yield much knowledge. What he demontrates for the presidential election can also be done for conservation issues. Students do not know how to do this. We know their parents can't teach them, and many of us need to practice this more ourselves. It is time to nurture a culture of inquisitiveness for the sake of our country and planet.

Questions that I have for the remainder of this class: Is there a benefit/drawback over teacher directed inquiry? How do you assess inquiry itself? Is management into the direction of questioning a bad thing?

No need to answer unless you want to. If you ahve any other instances of lack of inquisitiveness, I would love to hear from you!

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