Teacher Inquiry vs. Student Inquiry
So, I've got this great unit planned. I thought of an engaging provocation to hook the learners. It worked. They are loving it and they are following every step of the way. It is engaging, fun, and full of opportunities for critical thinking, art exploration, and differing perspectives. Along the way, I infused the unit with technology. They are blogging, making Keynote presentations, and working with GoogleSketch. I have scheduled in some reflection and meta-cognitive time at regular intervals. They are putting their work into e-portfolios, and connecting with other students around the world. I work my way through the initial points of the unit, going through my lines of inquiry one at a time, going back to check understanding, and moving forward when I feel they are ready. I have structured the unit to scaffold the learners to the final summit, the understanding of the big idea.
But, it was my inquiry. I planned it all out. I chose the direction. I chose the topics. I selected from a very large field of possibilities, and ended up with a path that I made. They ended up exactly where I wanted them to.
What about the students inquiry? Is learning to inquire the most important part of inquiry learning? How can you learn to inquire if somebody is always doing it for you?
Did I do my job as a teacher? Looking back at my first couple of classes, I would say not always. Yet, if I could go back and tell myself this, I probably wouldn't want to. It is something I needed to see, feel and experience on my own. It was my inquiry, and it will never end.