This style of inquiry was at first difficult for me to wrap my head around. Was my job really just to record and document? What if the conversations were shallow and did not elicit the depth we were hoping for? How could I give up control of the process and big questions? Would it work?
In the end, what I discovered was that, yes the students did mostly reach the depth of thinking we had hoped for. Indeed, we are now off on our way to a new inquiry question and topic and students simply came to it in a different way. In most of the inquiry I do, the students are challenged with figuring out the principles that are already known to the adults. However, with this more open inquiry, the direction was less known. As they continued to talk to each other they got to the places we wanted them to get to and it was all theirs.
Today I learned a little more about trusting students.
Chris Southworth (@atticasam) is an ADE, Learning Leader at Cranston School and Star Trek fan who has a passion for Wrath of Kahn.