Structuring an inquiry-based classroom in the 21st century
A place to clean up classroom clutter by reflecting on daily practice, blogging, saving articles, posting practical tips, and all random things that have to do with education.
I was on a 4-day course this weekend completing my International Schools Services (ISS) EAL Certification. The focus in the third installment explored how linguistics can be used to address specific language learning issues with our student populations. We analyzed how language and learning interact by looking at syntax, phonology, morphology, semantics, pragmatics and the historical evolution of the English language. I am going to share this with my students and tell them how it informs my teaching (in the most kid-friendly language possible). Hopefully I can make some connections for them as to why whenever they follow their instinct on certain patterns in the English language, they often hit anomalous road blocks.
In this conversation, I hope I am showing them that I am a learner and that I can always improve my instruction to support them in better ways.
When teachers explicitly show that they are also learners, students get the message through modeling and not just through authority that learning is the most important thing we can do in school and in life.
Although there are set patterns and established knowledge, there are also unique contexts that require thinking and synthesis. As international teachers we need to inquire on our unique teaching and learning contexts, striving to reach every individual student in our schools. If we just apply our ideas without fully understanding how it affects our students’ learning and well-being, then we are often not reaching student hearts and minds.
When students see teachers striving further to understand them and to understand the world, the passion that drives this becomes infectious. Students feel less systematized in a world of schooling and more encouraged build the skills needed to chase their curiosities.
When learning is the number one priority for all community members in the school (parents, teachers, students, administrators…etc) students develop the art and science of making great connections that are authentic, meaningful and possibly life-changing.
If I am to now call myself an action researcher, I feel like my biggest purpose as an action researcher is to show students that learning about how we learn, why we learn and what we can do with what we learn is the most valuable lesson we could ever model as teachers.
PYP Grade 4 Teacher