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ERIC Number: EJ1104199
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
Inquiry and Irony: Promise and Paradox in Paul Jablon's "The Synergy of Inquiry"
Nurenberg, David
High School Journal, v99 n2 p113-121 Win 2016
Paul Jablon's "The Synergy of Inquiry" (2014) is well-timed. The 2014 deadline set by No Child Left Behind (NCLB, 2002) for universal student proficiency has come and gone, and according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, "proficiency rates last year were below 50 percent for nearly every racial and ethnic group, in both reading and math, in both 4th and 8th grade" (Kamenetz, 2014, p. 2). Its goals of reaching all students, refusing to "write off" or "give up" on struggling learners (especially struggling learners of color) were admirable, but the 2014 report was just the latest in a host of studies (summarized in Fairtest, 2003; Rose 2004; Sunderman, Kim, & Orfield, 2005) that revealed how student learning repeatedly failed to reach NCLB's targets. Jablon is but the latest in a series of educators who argue that the fault lies not so much in NCLB's goals as in the methods that too many schools chose to reach these goals, namely a "doubling down" on skill-and-drill preparation for the NCLB-mandated standardized tests. "The Synergy of Inquiry" (2014) attempts to resolve the present paradox--namely, that the standardization of pedagogy and curriculum that schools adopted to meet the heavy testing focus of the outcomes-based movement is ill-suited to helping students develop the kind of higher order thinking that the movement's proponents advocate. Jablon offers a way that schools and teachers can help students acquire higher order skills, especially when more traditional methods are failing. Or rather, he offers several ways, merged under one umbrella called "Inquiry Learning." This article details Jablon's "The Synergy of Inquiry" chapter by chapter and concludes with mention of shortcomings and suggestions for improvement.
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Book/Product Reviews; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; New York
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A