Monday, June 2, 2014

An Inquiring State of Mind

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a group of teachers. They were talking about a new approach that the human resources department of their school district is taking to hiring new teachers. Rather than asking the candidate a series of questions about teaching - questions presumably they should have some knowledge -- the new approach places the candidate in a new situation to see how s/he will respond. The purpose is to provide insight into a new teacher's personality.

What's personality got to do with being a good teacher? According to an article published on MindShift and written by psychologist Thom Markham titled, Do You Have the Personality To Be an Inquire-Based Teacher?, personality has everything to do with being an inquiry-based teacher.

In chapter eight of Reading, Writing, and Literacy 2.0, I write about the importance of inquiry-based teaching, "Inquiry is a disposition that influences the way in which all classroom activities are approached" (p. 123). And, it is critical to preparing students for the job market.

I encourage you to read and reflect on the personality attributes put forth in the article as necessary for an inquiry-based teacher:

Are you optimistic?
Are you open?
Are you appreciative?
Are you flexible?
Are you purposeful?

Then, think about how the technology tools discussed in chapter eight might support inquiry-based teaching in your classroom. What books and articles have you read that helped prepare you to be in inquiry-based teacher? Post them in the comments below and I will collect them in a subsequent post.

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