Two articles from Mind/Shift worth reading have crossed my radar lately presenting two sides of one schools story. The Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia is celebrated as an example of the deep learning that can be achieved when a school embraces Inquiry Based Learning.
In the first article founding principle Chris Lehman describes ‘Why Inquiry Based Learning is worth the Trouble’. In this piece he identifies the challenges that come with embracing Inquiry Based Learning and the potential drawbacks that go with this. “To me it comes down to process,” Lehmann said. “Inquiry means living in the soup. Inquiry means living in that uncomfortable space where we don’t know the answer.” Lehman’s coverage of potential difficulties includes programming, the relevance of national benchmarks and the difficulty of accurately measuring progress as students travel through diverse and winding journeys towards their learning goals.
The second article presents the view of the students learning in this 'soup' of inquiry. In an article by Katrina Schwartz, students of SLA present their story and describe what it is like to be ‘Trusted Partners in Learning. Their observations show the value of attaching real meaning to learning and the possibility that comes when students are able to develop and explore their questions.
by Nigel Coutts