Environment for inquiry…

I shared this beautiful video with a team of teachers before a planning session this morning. I wanted to encourage them to think about ‘letting go’, students taking more responsibility for the learning and the teacher’s role in making this happen. 

We dimmed the lights and you could hear a pin drop as the teachers were caught up in the magic of the multiple messages the video conveys.

We took a few quiet minutes to think individually and jot down our ideas… something that teachers often forget to do before students start jumping in with their thoughts. Even young learners, who aren’t yet able to write down, benefit from some thinking time before the sharing starts. 

Here’s what they said:

  • Teachers need to step back and give children opportunities to learn and explore for themselves.
  • Teachers need to let go and trust their students to own the learning.
  • It’s important to have opportunities to try and fail and try again.
  • There needs to be enough time to experiment, practise and explore.
  • Meaningful learning can’t be rushed and it’s not about how quickly you ‘get it’.
  • It’s not about the product, it’s about the process of learning.
  • Teachers need to step back, but still be there to guide.
  • The teacher has to provide the opportunities and the tools. The learner can take it from there.
  • Learners need to feel secure, valued and able to take risks.
  • Learning needs to be challenging and purposeful.
  • Model and guide, but then allow students to apply their learning and produce something unique of their own.
  • The teacher’s role is to inspire learning. Learners need to be empowered not instructed.
  • Learning can be messy and frustrating, but when it works, it’s magical.
  • Sometimes a teacher might seem like a monster, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you and your learning!
What did the video say to you?
(More posts about ‘letting go’ here.)

About whatedsaid

Teaching and Learning Coordinator at an IB PYP school in Melbourne, Australia. I'm a teacher, a learner, an inquirer...
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4 Responses to Environment for inquiry…

  1. @dwyerteacher says:

    What a beautiful film! Thanks for sharing Edna.

    Here is what I picked up. I watched it twice, the first time from the perspective of the student, the second time from the teacher.

    Learning is experimenting, figuring out, growing, and reflecting.

    Teaching is observing, analyzing, and reacting.

    I think I have a blog post brewing in my head….

  2. Pingback: WorkingAtTheEdge.org Daily Links 05/08/2012 | Working at the edge

  3. kdceci says:

    Such a beautiful video. Such a beautiful, gentle reminder of letting go and seeing what happens.

  4. mirandarose14 says:

    My favourite part is the smile from the teacher near the end communicating “I knew you could do it, you should be so proud of yourself”… And, then without skipping a beat, the next challenge of blowing magic is seamlessly presented- that is the magic of teaching!

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