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Teacher Inquiry Workshop

GKCWP TIW 2010 Summer Institute

Steve Moore

on 17 June 2010

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Transcript of Teacher Inquiry Workshop

How Can I Maintain a Student-Driven Classroom While Still Fostering a Culture of Understanding and Enjoyment in Learning?

A Teacher Inquiry Workshop by
:-) Sources of Note for This Inquiry Never Work Harder Than Your Students, Robyn R. Jackson (2009) ASCD
Catching Up or Leading the Way: Education in the Age of Globalizaion, Yong Zhao (2009) ASCD
American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community, Sam Chaltain (2009) Rowman & Littlefield
Making the Case for Educating tje Whole Child (2010) ASCD
How can I develop understanding and enjoyment while still maintaining a student-driven classroom?

This question drives my whole philosophy of ed and is shaping how I will teach next year in a new class.

One resource I plan to use is Robyn Jackson's book Never Work Harder Than Your Students. I may also draw upon sources like Yong Zhao in his book Catching Up or Leading the Way: Education in the Age of Globalization.

In my new classroom I intent to explore this question through the use of student chioce in daily activities as well as through contunial polling of learners.

I think I can share my inquiry experiences with the GKCWP in several ways: I hope they can benefit from a portion of my personal narrative as a new teacher and as a suburban/rural teacher transitioning to an urban core teacher. I hope I can also highlight my exploration of the duality of teaching's biggest challenge in my mind: that of building understanding while fostering creativity and enjoyment.

I hope to engage my fellow writers in exercieses that will support their own understanding and enjoyment during my TIW. One practice we can do together is a word market where we read a selection of writing (perhaps from an open free write from the beginning of the TIW) and select meaningful words to share and explore further through an exchange. This idea connects to my Robyn Jackson's idea of the classroom as a place of currency exchange where students and teachers need to be working in the same medium in order to accomplish the most learning. If we are all working with writing to converse about something, then there must be a common currency we can trade in to generate a temporal economy of thought.
Considerations ASCD's Whole Child Tenets
Each student enters school healthy and learns about an practices a healthy lifestlye
Each student learns in an intellectually challenging environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults
Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community
Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults. What's Important? Student Choice High Expectations Creativity Relevance Currency Jackson's Mastery Principles
Start where your students are
Know where your students are going
Expect your students to get there
Support your students on the way
Use feedback to help your students get better
Focus on quality not quantity
Never work harder than your students Wise Words "The most destructive element in the human mind is fear. Fear creates aggressiveness." -Dorothy Thompson, US Journalist Troubling Data: One Overworked Student 6:30am: Get up
8:00-11:00am: Homework
1:00pm-2:00pm: Practice Math
2:00pm-2:30pm: Preview English book of next semester
2:30pm-3:00pm: Read Guide to Literature Classics
3:00pm-4:00pm Read reference books, recite an iancient poem, finish practicing one unit math questions exercise, study English New Thinking in Class, study Math New Thinking in Class, practice calligraphy

Saturday: Self-study Target English
Sunday: Self-Study Target English
Compose two papers in English per week
Compose two papers in Chinese per week This is Xiaoru's winter break schedule. She was 14
when she died of cerebral hemmorrhage
due to constant overwork and exhaustion Oh yeah, did I mention this would be MESSY?!
Well, I've warned you now, be prepared to wade
through the swampy quagmire of my inquiry! "All learners construct knowledge from an inner scaffolding of their individual and social experiences, emotions, will,
aptitutes, beliefs, values, self-awareness, purpose, and more. In other words, if you are learning in a classroom, what
you understand is determined by how you understand things, who you are, and what you already know as much as by what
is covered, and how and by whom it is delivered." -Peter Senge, Business/Leadership Author Metaphors What metaphors do you use about teaching?

These provide powerful clues about your beliefs about students.
Are you coaching, gardning, shaping, or leading on a journey?

Ask your students to create similies for learning:
"Learning is like..." Motivating Factors What drives your students to learn based on how
they defined learning (learning is like...)?

Write about how your own learning simile leads you
to become motivated.

How can you apply what you know about your own
motivation to garner the same attention from your students? Supporting Students How can we avoid the trap of
seeking compliance from students
(turn this in on time, X pgs, etc)
and instead refocus our actions on

Write about how you discern between
when students are acting out of
compliance versus when you observe
learning taking place.
"What unnerves us most about freedom is the same thing generations of scientists were unconsciously ignoring about the universe--its unpredictability and capacity for disorder. In the classroom, this fear of the unknown has misled many of us into thinking that the relationship between freedom and structure is an either/or proposition. As educators, we're either providing good, structured instruction, or we're refereeing spitball fights. But there's a difference between being authoritative and being authoritarian..." -Sam Chaltain, Teacher Are you dizzy yet?
I told you this would
be a bit wild! Hold on

HERE WE GO AGAIN! What does this leave us to consider for fostering a learning culture?

High Expectations
Student Choice
Full transcript