Ok, so this isn’t exactly a post about inquiry, but it is about Inquire Within, so I think I’ll get away with it…
I’m pleased to see that Inquire Within has been nominated for an Edublog Award in the ‘best group blog’ category. Here are some reasons why the blog is worth inquiring into…
1. Just a short while ago, I posted inviting people to contribute to the dream of creating a powerful collaborative blog about inquiry. Three months later, we have contributors from fourteen countries across six continents.
2. The IB PYP describes inquiry as exploring, wondering and questioning; experimenting and playing with possibilities; making connections between previous learning and current learning; making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens; collecting data and reporting findings; clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events; making and testing theories; researching and seeking information; solving problems in a variety of ways… Isn’t this what learning in our century needs to be about?
3. Anyone can contribute and every post is a surprise because of the variety of voices. I love the commonality and the diversity. Some people have been invited to join, but it’s even better when people invite themselves. It would be great to hear more voices of non-bloggers too.
4. The content of the blog is as much about teacher inquiry as it is about student inquiry. Every post (and comment) at Inquire Within, no matter who the author, seeks to better understand some aspect of inquiry teaching and learning, a desire to learn and grow as an educator.
5. This blog seems to have no ego. The authors don’t seem to care about self promotion or brand. Inquire Within is developing into a community of learners, who will hopefully read, learn from and respond to each others’ posts. You can join us too.
6. Some of the posts share my approach, echo my sentiments and resonate for me. Others challenge me, make me question, think and justify my thinking. I learn from all of them. They often send me down inquiry paths of my own.
7. I recently received a request to join Inquire Within from a well-known and highly respected author and presenter. (She’ll be with us soon). I’m pleased that she noticed and appreciated us enough to contact me. But I’m just as proud to share this space with an incredible bunch of inquiry teachers from all over the world.
8. It’s great to receive notification every day of someone new who is following the blog. We have nearly 150 email subscribers alone and growing. Being nominated for an Edublog Award (we don’t need to win!) will bring more readers and consequently more conversation and richer learning for all of us.
9. Great learning takes place though collaboration. I’ve learned in the past couple of years that global connections lead to sharing of and building on ideas, mutual understanding and assistance, growth and learning for teachers and students alike. Inquire Within is one example.
10. I confess I only have nine. Maybe some of the other contributors (or visitors) would like to add ideas for #10!
#10 Focus on inquiry means focus on process of learning. Many of the posts do so and thus are adaptable to one’s teaching practice regardless of age of students. This transferrability and adaptability make this blog a fantastic resource for teaching and learning.
For me, the Enquire Within blog has been a fine example of teachers collaborating to grow thinking together, like a mother hen surrounding a nice warm batch of eggs! The Inquire Within space is filling with an ever-broadening range of voices, not just those of gurus or tech-xperts.
Enquire Within for me has been an online voice of Encouragement. I don’t know why I have encountered the opposite in my own school, but I’m not complaining any more. I may think, belong, join in, question and grow in my online world and that’s enough to get me by.
I am guessing that you have at some time considered setting up an ‘Enquire Within’ blog for your school community only. Do you plan to do this, or have decided not to?
Unless a teacher is working in an organisation where their own thinking voice is continually encouraged and utilised, it can be pretty daunting for them to do more than ‘lurk’, in their own staff meeting or online. The Enquire Within type of space might just get that ‘lurker’ to speak up and find the satisfaction of posting their own thinking, without the hassle of maintaining a personal blog and with a wide established audience. Nice. That being said, isn’t our best audience ourselves? The act of writing is our moment of learning. Should we be so worried about who reads and responds to our thinking?
As always, thanks for the chance to contribute.
Here is my reason #10: You! You encourage and inspire me. We have never met in person, and yet I feel I have known you forever. You have become a mentor and friend. Even though I have written and published only one post so far, in my head, I constantly think about new posts and about inquiry, inspired by the posts and comments I read. It has made me more aware about the possibilities for inquiry in my own learning and teaching but also about everything inquiry-related already happening at our school. I love being part of this learning community. Thank you.
I absolutely agree. Edna is a source of inspiration 🙂