Questioning Is Only The Tip Of The Iceberg

icebergOn the surface, inquiry appears to involve the asking of questions and the seeking of information from which to make some response. Larissa Pahomov, author of the book Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry, indicates that questioning is only “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to inquiry (p. 18). Pahomov indicates that inquiry in the classroom should also include:

  1. Choice – Choice is necessary for personal and educational fulfillment. Students should have some choice in the questions they pursue and in how they find answers, and one of those options should include technology.
  2. Personalization – While there has been a tremendous movement toward standardization in the educational environment, learning remains a very personal endeavor. In the inquiry process, students need the opportunity to personalize using whatever means may be available.
  3. Relevance – Students will gain the most from real experiences that can be translated into practical applications.
  4. Empowerment – Students need some sense of control in their learning environment. They need the freedom to explore their own questions and pursue knowledge that is both interesting and useful for their development.
  5. Care – Respect for students, for their interests, and for their abilities demonstrates care. When such respect is present, students are free to learn and grown.

As you are planning for next week, include choice, personalization, and relevance in your content. Empower your students to learn and demonstrate respect for them in the process. They will find much success and you will find much joy in your work.

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