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ERIC Number: ED509645
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May-1
Pages: 81
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
Inquiry in the Classroom
Stohl, Christina
Online Submission
(Purpose) As schools scramble to restructure in the hope of thwarting failure, administrators often appropriate money for outside experts who counsel on professional development as well as outside magic-pill programs for student achievement. High-stakes testing remains the arbiter. Perhaps the use of the best practice of inquiry, or classroom questioning, taught by the "experts within" a school, can cheaply and richly propel students to authentically achieve with self-confidence and motivation. (Methodology) This three-month action research weighed baseline and summative student questionnaires (a 4-point rating of how students felt about being questioned and how this effected their self-confidence and motivation) and Essential Schools chalk talks (a silent student-run writing activity in which they answered the question, "How do I feel about mathematics?") as well as fastidiously recorded participant/researcher field notes of eleven inquiry dialogues. (Results) This study found that sustained inquiry of strategically placed lower and higher ordered questions positively impacted students' motivation and self-confidence within an urban public high school special education mathematics classroom. Comprehending, understanding, applying, and analyzing information led the students to synthesize, evaluate, and create. (Conclusions) Like Dewey, and Socrates way before him, this inquiry process recognized the student as the center of the learning and the teacher as the facilitator. The open cooperation and joyful collaboration experienced by the students in this inquiry learning community provided even more building blocks to constructing their own knowledge and ultimately to achieving considerable self-confidence and greater motivation. Likewise these same experiences created the habits of mind of independent, creative thought and team-building parameters of 21st century skills. (Recommendations, for future action research studies which replicate this project, would include trained, spirited questioners who further the scope of inquiry with faithfulness and validity in the search of authentic student self-confidence and motivation across various schools, grades, contents, and ability levels. (Additional Data) 14 charts and 1 Chalk Talk description
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts