Last school year, our faculty and staff selected from a number of books that they had identified as good, helpful professional reading, and we here at Annie Wright Schools entered the summer months tasked with tackling one of these texts. Thus launched our exploration of best practices in inquiry-based learning.
Next school year, we also hope to continue exploring inquiry, so we’re using our summer ‘reading’ to launch into our own explorations. When we teach inquiry, we teach our students and ourselves to be mindful of a process of inquiry. Are you just starting out by exploring? Have you identified a solution to your topic? Are you preparing to present?
When individuals or organizations struggle to realize where they are in a process, the inquiries struggle. They’re more likely to give up. To start over. To become so frustrated that they limit future risks.
So your summer assignment, just like ours, is to forecast your inquiry. Think about what challenges or topics you want to explore. Make a plan for resources. Stick to one of the cycles you’ll find in the documents linked to below. And be mindful of how you move through the process. Where did you struggle? How would you evaluate your performance for each step in your journey?
So, what’ll it be? Personally, I’m exploring how to eradicate bamboo from my backyard. I have a mountain of books, both professional and personal, I’d like to get to (a post on these will come soon!), and, most immediately, I’m off to inquire about the Columbia River Gorge, Smith Rock, and the Coastal Areas of Oregon.
Enjoy the summer months, and enjoy plotting your inquiries. As faculty and staff, we’ll report back in the fall on how we were practitioners of methods that we teach. We hope you will, as well.