In this KQED Mind/Shift Blog post Katrina Schwartz looks more closely at Inquiry Learning. What she sees is deeper engagement, facilitated by an open schedule and supportive, creative and patient teachers.
In the post teachers who are engaged in this type of learning express frustration and impatience sometimes, as they watch learners struggle with their path. We see this at The Birch School. We know the feelings they describe and often wonder if the wait is worthwhile. But as teachers express in the post, “It’s so terrifying as a teacher when you have this notion of what looks right, and they’re not doing it right and I’m failing as a teacher because of that.”
What we are coming to realize is that this is part of the process. And at The Birch School we see students’ engagement increase as they understand better what is expected of them, and what is possible. We see students unlearning what they have come to understand as the expectations of them as students in other learning settings. When they are new to this they observe, ask questions, and are most influenced by the modeling of other students.