Getting students to ask questions is the objective of a pilot program which encourages teachers to use “inquiry” techniques in their classrooms.
Boyle County teachers are using techniques which involve asking a big questions and having students complete tasks and analyze resources while finding an answer on their own.
“Most of the questions that are asked come from the teacher, and it may involve questions that students don’t really care about,” said Ryan New, a social studies teacher at Boyle County High School “The question is how do we get students to be able to ask their own questions in class?”
“Inquiry teaching is a process, rather than content-oriented. It is conceptual instead of factual in emphasis. It is student-centered, not teacher centered. It is active, not passive,” New said. “Inquiry teaching does not treat content as an end in itself, but rather uses it to accomplish purposes of far-reaching significance.”
The objective is to enable students to be better prepared for the challenges of work, and college after they graduate.
“Forever in education, we always talk about trying to make the learning relevant, trying to make it real-world,” said David Young, assistant superintendent. “A lot of times when you get that question right, it drives it, it gives everything context. And a lot of times, that context is real-world … that’s what we all do every day, so it’s a very real-world skill for kids to be able to learn and do it in class.”