The Secrets of the Inquiry Teacher

How would the educational system change if every teacher asked the following questions before starting each day?

  1. What am I going to do with my students today?
  2. What is it good for?
  3. How do I know?

Would you click here to go to Rick Garlikov’s fantastic site to see how he taught average third grade, public school students binary arithmetic using only questions?

What are some of the attributes of an inquiry teacher?

Do you think the inquiry teacher’s primary mode of discourse with students is lecture or questioning?

Does the inquiry teacher tell students what he thinks they ought to know?

Does telling, when used as a basic teaching strategy, deprive students of the excitement of doing their own finding?

Does finding their own answers decrease or increase the students’ own power as learners?

Does the inquiry teacher generally accept a single statement as an answer to a question?

Does he encourage student-to-student interaction?

Does he avoid being a mediator or judge of the quality of the ideas students express?

Do his lessons develop from the responses of students rather than a previously determined logical structure?

Does each of his lessons generally pose a problem for students?

Is his goal to engage students in those activities that will produce knowledge?

Are his goals to engage students in defining, questioning, observing, classifying, generalizing, verifying, and applying?

Is success the frequency with which students ask questions themselves?

Is learning exhibited by the cogency of their questions?

“How is one to talk to teachers, to authorities, to colleagues, to students? What is one to do with the books she reads, the education she is offered? What kind of knowledge do we need in this world and the world that is possible? What beliefs and understandings do we now accept that get in the way of knowing how best to live?”

“How is one to know how to live? Are we simply to take the well-worn path and trust that success will follow? And what can be said about those who hallucinate the voice of an imagined “society” that tells them (and us) who to be, how to think and talk? With what “voices” does culture speak to us? How do we “listen” to culture? How can we recognize culture as it appears in our own speaking? How do we talk back to culture?”

Another resource?



2 thoughts on “The Secrets of the Inquiry Teacher

  1. Wow. I know about inquiry based learning, and the binary number example was a great way to explain and demonstrate how it works!
    Nice link.

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