It feels good to be part of a group of people who are changing the way they have taught their units of inquiry for many years.
I'm currently reading a book called "Why are school buses always yellow" by John Barell which deals with teaching for inquiry. In this book he lists characteristics of what he calls "problematic scenarios" - these are the same characteristics that make for good units of inquiry:
- Doubt, difficulty, uncertainty, novelty and mystery - all these foster curiosity, one of the PYP attitudes, and invite exploration.
- Complexity - many facets, elements or ways of investigating. Complexity also leads to curiosity because we aren't sure of the outcomes.
- Boundarylessness - things that are open to question, problem solving and with entry points for students with different interests.
- Fascination - to capture the students' imaginations.
- Robust - significant concepts within the unit.
- Transferability - these concepts have meaning within other subjects (transdisciplinary) and in life contexts.
- "Stickiness" - the central ideas need to stick with the students for a long time.
- Researchable - information is available from a variety of sources.
Photo Credit: Mundane Love by Evan Leeson