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Lesson Plans


CURRICULUM ISSUES- INQUIRY

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Dave Beaman (dbeaman.mn.us)
Wed, 9 Apr 1997 12:42:27 +0100


The discussion on inquiry learning has been "eye-opening" to say the least!
I believe the discussion shows the many different ways we approach
inquiry. As a high school art teacher attempting to use inquiry in my
classroom, I'd like to share some of what I've learned in the past three
years:
1- the majority of my students have no sense of how to
practice inquiry- It seems like students have a system
of "cramming" to learn;spitting out the information
for a test and then forgetting what they "learned." I
continually get students coming up to me and saying "I
don't like your class because you make me think!"
If they stick with it many figure out that inquiry
works across disciplines- they use it in different
classes and it pays off. I've taught them a method.
2- Inquiry works best when it's focused, authentic,
unbiased, embedded and generalizable. For this reason,
when I teach the process, I model it, have my students
practice in groups, and finally, apply it to personal
choices. "Dripping" the process of inquiry over a
period acts to embed it- the students become "engaged"
when they come to a realization that they "can" be
successful with this approach.
Are my efforts lasting?- When students continue to art classes, I encourage
them to continue working with inquiry. Those that do have a much easier
time coming up with ideas and are, on the whole, more successful in their
efforts. To sum up, unless I help my students with inquiry, they can't find
answers- they
don't even know what questions to ask. With many art teachers approaching
the teaching of art from the basis of technique and production (ignoring
criticism, history and aesthetics) kids fail to learn a valuable lesson-
why learn? Our entire system of education is failing if we cannot engage
students to learn, with passion, for themselves. If they don't learn is it
because we fail to guide? That's why I believe Our Place in the World,
ArtsEdNet and DBAE are so important- the structure and purpose gives my
efforts a sense of direction. More later......
DAVE BEAMAN-STAPLES/MOTLEY HIGH SCHOOL