By Thom Markham As Common Core State Standards are incorporated from school to school across the country, educators are discussing their value. It may seem t
Deborah Owen's insight:
Everyday there is less standardization of information, making it nearly impossible to decide what a tenth-grader should know. Beyond the core literacies of reading, writing, computation, and research, the world-wide culture of innovation, discovery, multi-polarity, interdisciplinary thinking, and rapid change depends on the explosive potential of the human mind, not entombed truths from the past. Increasingly, any standards-based curriculum is at odds with the outside world.
There is only one resolution to the debate. Sooner or later, inquiry-standards will take precedence over content-based standards. Education’s core task is to prepare young people to generate new ideas, filter them through a net of critical analysis and reflection, and move the ideas through a design process to create a quality product, either as an idea or a material object. Students need information, facts, and specific knowledge for a successful outcome. But that information must be gathered during the process of creation, in a usable, just-in-time format not found in “subjects.”
Nearly seven years after first opening its doors, the Science Leadership Academy public magnet high school* in Philadelphia and its inquiry-based approach to
Deborah Owen's insight:
"Lehmann’s 90-minute question-and-answer session tackled coming to terms with the impact of a shift to inquiry-driven learning by defining three steps: the enigmatic meaning of inquiry-based learning; the visible changes that signal a shift to that approach; and the potential drawbacks that shift may surface."
'Essential questions' are all too often lower order. And not that essential.
When we're working with schools on our Design Thinking School programme, one of the easiest ways to explain what we're looking for in the way a project is set, is whether the statement or questions being asked can be Googled easily: is this a Googleable or Not Googleable topic?
Provide your class with an initial piece of inspiration - a TED Talk, some objects, a provocative discussionGive students plenty of post-it notes to write one question per post-it in a short period of time - maybe 10-20 minutes.Ask students to post their questions onto a window or wall, under two headings: Googleable and NonGoogleableDiscussing what might constitute a NonGoogleable question to get some moreShare out the Googleable questions for independent researchGive time for students to present their answers to the Googleable questions to each other: students as teachersExplore the rich NonGoogleable questions as the basis of a rich project
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