Visit to the “Inquiry Teacher’s” classroom

On Tuesday my EDCI 336 class had the opportunity to visit Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s aka the Inquiry Teacher’s classroom. Rebecca is co-author to Inquiry Mindset, a book about fostering curiosity in the classroom, runs the popular instagram account @inquiryteacher, and teaches kindergarten full-time! I was really inspired by how accomplished Rebecca is for being a young teacher and I know that I want to adopt her teaching methods into my own classroom one day.

Rebecca stressed that one of the most important roles as a teacher is to bring the inquiry, wonder and curiosity out of students. Here are some of the ways that she does this.

from Rebecca’s presentation

Growing up with the old BC curriculum, I am very unfamiliar with the inquiry mindset but I love learning about it! I think that fostering creativity and curiosity in students is very important because I know so many people who have never been able to find their passions in life. With the new curriculum, we get to help students find what they find interesting in life!

One of my favourite methods that Rebecca uses in her classroom is called the wonder-wall. This wall has pictures of all of her students with thought bubbles beside them and inside the bubbles are questions that her students are wondering currently. Her students were wondering about skin tones to why people think differently. I love when young learners surprise me with what they are capable of thinking about! As I continue with my education I need to remember to have a growth mindset so that I never underestimate my students’ abilities.

For the privacy & safety of the students, I have blurred out their faces because I do not have permission to share pictures of them. This is something you should always be checking before you post a photo!

To keep up constantly with Rebecca & all of her inquiry ideas I recommend following her on twitter @rbathursthunt

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PSII Visit

This week my EDCI 336 class had the opportunity to visit the Pacific School for Innovation and Inquiry (PSII- pronounced “sigh”), Victoria’s newest high school and form of personalized education. Students at this school are able to move through a curriculum that is designed specifically for them at their own pace. Basically, at this school all the projects are inquiry based so students get to decide what they want to learn and the teachers design their learning to meet all the BC curriculum content. The image below, from PSII’s website, better explains their whole learning approach.

retrieved from http://learningstorm.org/the-psii-approach/

This visit made me consider how beneficial our education system really is. One thing that I hated about my high school experience was the lack of freedom I had. If I wasn’t feeling well I had to call home in the office and get my parents to come pick me up even though I could drive myself. As soon as I left high school and entered university I found my mental health got immensely better. If I wasn’t feeling well physically or emotionally, I could just not attend class that day and catch up on my own time and nobody would mind. The stress of being forced to remain at my place of learning even if it wasn’t in the best interest for me was gone and I found myself enjoying my education so much more. For once I had independence and control over my learning and I began to care a lot more about my education. So why do we still design our high schools this way? As stated on the PSII website, we are all unique individuals, so why do we force our students to complete a pre-designed, standardized education?

For more information on PSII visit their website learningstorm.org & I promise it will answer all of your questions.