Post 3

The Inquiry Teacher: 

In the book Inquiry Mindset (Nurturing the Dreams, Wonders, & Curiosities of our Youngest Learners) by Trevor Mackenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt, they describe some qualities a teacher must develop to have a successful inquiry classroom.

1. Inquiry Teachers are Playful:
“They find joy in learning and doing, and they share their delight with others.  The act of finding joy in being reflective and growth-focused in their teaching. They see challenges as opportunities to tinker in their practice and look at problems from different angles” (p.3)

2. Inquiry Teachers Teach Slowly:
“They don’t get bogged down with coverage or content…they focus on flowing down their learning to allow opportunities to deepen understanding, better support their students, and embrace the curiosities, passions, and interests of their learners. Learning is not a checklist of objectives or content-specific aims. They help learners take time to observe their own feelings, emotions, successes, and challenges in their learning.” (p.4)

3. Inquiry Teachers know their Curriculum:
“They are intensely familiar with what they’d like their learners to know. They are creative in the pathways they take to learning, the learning experiences they foster, how they cultivate learning opportunities for their students and how they weave student curiosities in their classroom.” (p.4)

4. Inquiry Teachers know their Students:
They know their students’ stories, passions, interest, and goals, and they use this knowledge to empower learners. They construct learning moments calling for reflection and sharing of self. They actively plan and work toward building relationship and trust. They help learners connect their stories, passions, interests and goals to the curriculum, shaping learning moments.” (p.5)

5. Inquiry Teachers Reflect and Revise as they Go:
They have a knack for reflecting and revising to better meet the needs of their students. They take time to stop and listen; they view their learners as collaborators they can learn from to better move forward. They reflect on their own role in the classroom (own actions, words, thoughts, and feelings).” (p.5)

6. Inquiry Teachers Go Outside to Come Back Inside:
“They look beyond their learning opportunities for both their students and themselves. They look to their community for connections and identify partnerships and collaborations to create rich learning experiences.” (p.6)

7. Inquiry Teachers are Curious:
They are inquirers themselves. Curiosity is at the heart of what they do, and they daily demonstrate and put voice to their own wonderings for their students to see. In inquiry classrooms, questions spiral to shape lessons, direct instruction, and encourage critical thinking and revision, which leads to even deeper questions.” (p.6)

8. Inquiry Teachers are Passionate:
“Inquiry teachers love the classroom. They are passionate about  kids and excited about learning. Their infectious energy ignites a passion for learning in their students, colleagues, and leaders. Their passion for learning is unwavering and is evident in many ways: their care for planning learning experiences, their tact in building relationships, or their expertise in fostering wonderings.” (p.7)

The book describes how important it is to have these characteristics.  They explain that all these characteristics can be learned, nurtured, and honed.  At the end of the chapter they ask for you to take a moment and consider which of these you already possess, which ones your working on and which ones you need to add to your repertoire.  I find as a pre-service teacher, I wish I could say I already possess all these characteristics, but I know I’m not quite there yet. I do believe I fit into numbers 1, 4, 5,  and 8, but still have to sharpen.  The rest I still need to add to my repertoire.  Hopefully during my practicum, I will be able to gain more of these characteristics.

-Genoa  ♥

4 Replies to “Post 3”

  1. I really like how you broke that down into little pieces. I’ve read another book by Trevor McKenzie and this was a good reminder of some of its good points. I hope I am slowly learning to possess more of these qualities. I also liked your following post as well. The videos were very helpful and will be valuable to watch again in the future.

    1. Hello, thanks for the comment!
      I agree, these types of books are great reminders of traits and qualities we should try to strive for. But, it’s easier said than done. Now it’s a matter of gaining more experience in our studies and practicum to slowly gain these qualities.

  2. Hi Genoa,

    Wondering if you might be able to give me a bit of a hand here. I have been tasked with delivering two different inquiry projects to a grade 6/7 class. One on ecosystems, the other on ancient civilizations (First Nations in Canada). I am wondering if you might have come across a graphic organizer or something that could help to narrow the student’s focus so they don’t get overwhelmed?

    1. Hey Anna!

      I don’t think my last reply posted, so let me try this again 🙂

      While I don’t have any graphic organizers for 6/7 on hand at the moment (as I’ve been focusing on primary), let me check some of my texts when I return to Nanaimo and get back to you!

      I find trying to organize inquiry units can be stressful, as there’s SO much information out there on inquiry, but how do we actually implement it?! This link, may not be helpful to your specific units, but I found it helped me break down how I may want to teach: 1. teacher driven, 2. teacher initiates/student motivated or 3. student driven.
      ^ All 3 ways are fine and you can chose to do one or all, depending on your style, the amounts of time you have, and depending on your students.

      If you’re worried about your students getting overwhelmed, you could start with a leader driven lesson (+ deliver a bit of the content) and then model some examples of how to narrow down what they might want to do their inquiry on.

      For some reason, my blog hasn’t been letting me add pictures, but here are some links to photos I wanted to share on how to could get students thinking about the topic or how you could start to organize yourself (ancient civilizations, ecosystems, etc.) –

      Sorry, I know this wasn’t a direct answer to your question. I’m still in the learning process myself
      Thanks for commenting.

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