Our Beliefs Make a Difference
A Culture of Inquiry for All Students
Inquiry requires that students (and their teachers) believe in their abilities to learn for themselves. True learning is messy as students learn to make sense of the world for themselves, with their varying background knowledge, abilities, and skill sets. More about my own experiences here.
Have We Done the Research We Ask Our Students to Do?
When we ask our students to look up information, it's helpful for teachers to recently experience the research process we're asking our students to go through. One solid way to do this is to choose one of the most difficult topics that we're asking our students to research. As we look up information for this, we can see what current struggles our students are going through and help them find ways to overcome those challenges.
When I conducted the same research I had asked my students to do, I found that they were justified in their frustrations. Here is more information about how this experience shaped my action research.
Evolution in Guiding My Students Through Their Research
When supporting students' research, I've learned that less instruction is better... that students should understand what's expected, try to meet the expectations in their own ways, and then get support as needed along the way. This is different than walking students through each step along the way. As students are working, teacher and peer feedback and self reflection help them refine their work much more than if they are trying to meet a prescribed method of research. More information about how my Research Guides have changed over time is available here.