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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Book Report - Part 3 - Teaching as a Subversive Activity

Inquiry Method
Best thought - once we label a method, we can then dismiss it. That is an administrative tactic, as well as a political one. Teachers who believe the pendulum theory use this too. This theory states that all educational methods come and go and come again.
Creating a classroom without a syllabus. I agree with the premise, but I question the idea that students have the basic ability to question content. Perhaps this is because teachers did not accomplish this with the previous generation and their children fill our classrooms with even less ability to question authentically.
Again, my major complaint about these kinds of books... So far it is only the teacher who has to change. While I agree that children are naturally curious, there is still a requirement from the student to not choose being disruptive, and "play the game" we might try to implement.
There has to be cooperation as a prerequisite. Too many students know they can keep classes from progressing by being an annoyance. With little ability to correct this kind of behavior, because of ridding ourselves of punishing students, "engaging" approaches to presenting material is not enough. It is becoming more true that some people simply want to "watch the world burn." that is there purpose. That has become a reality in many of our schools and classrooms.
With that said, the suggestions, ideas, and approaches provided for he teacher are not only appropriate, they are required traits for any teacher I'm the 21st century.
NCLB has defintely put a great restriction on the ability for a teacher to "experiment" with the ideas contained herein. Shame on President Bush (his wife as a former teacher) and most of all Congress for passing this law. Please remember, Presidents can only introduce legislation in our country. Congress is responsible for making proposals actual laws. There have been numerous opportunities to repeal, change, or otherwise admit error, but that has not happened. Nor does it appear it will under Obama.
The authors are correct when they imply that bureaucracy seeks to maintain status quo - that is there job. So waiting on the government to change things is a bad approach. Thus the appeal of "subversive" In the title.
Since people claim that kids do not have to learn as much as in the past, I wonder if it would be possible to get the mandated material out of the way quickly, then approach the classroom as suggested I'm the book, then do a quick "teach to the test" review before the test is given.
Can inquiry method work in the classroom? Absolutely. The question the authors claim they will answer in future chapters is "HOW?" I look forward to their ideas.
 From R. Murry

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous


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