Based on Quote #5:

“Inquiry-oriented work in which students position themselves as researchers provides an edgy and palpable means for disrupting the current policy/political climate, in which teachers are consistently positioned as the transmitters of others’ knowledge and students as the recipients”

(Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009, pp 15-16).

Discussion question: In what ways might inquiry disrupt the traditional idea of teacher as expert and learner as novice?

When I read this quote I was prompted to do an experiment in teaching. I decided to offer my students the chance to do my job, and I would be their assistant. My students eagerly signed up for the job as teacher. I gave them the required texts, required worksheets and told them to read ahead and research the material they were to teach. Much to my joy, the learning support student who was first did her homework! She used all the technology available to her and gave a great presentation of the materials. She encouraged the students to give her more information, she asked great questions! Much to my sadness, one of my “good” students just showed up, had the students read aloud, and didn’t even do the required worksheet at all! Our students presented an array of techniques from prepared power points to class discussion. This was a huge insight for me in the diversity of the way they like to learn. Classroom response was just as diversified, but predictable. Students who enjoyed teaching, taught well and their students performed well on an assessment. Students who “showed up” and didn’t put their heart into the assignment got an equal and disappointing assessments from their students.

I plan on continuing to offer this chance to be the teacher and hope that students learn from their classmates mistakes. I will also offer them more support in their preparation to teach. After all, don’t we learn more when we teach than when we just listen?  I will keep you updated to any further developments.

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