WNET / UCH Urban Academy
“Exploring Powerful Ideas Inquiry-Based Teaching: Discussing a Teachers Role”
A TEACHERS ROLE IN INQUIRY
I see a lot less of him trying to seduce the audience with his language. We see a lot more of his insecurity come through.
So James is saying he’s not trying to seduce us anymore. Do you guys agree? Do you think the romance is over between us and Humbert? (writing names) Shawn, Langston, Lee.
So we wanted to start by talking about what we think of as the role of a teacher in a school like Urban Academy. Do people have sort of specific definitions of that? Do they have general thoughts?
I think one of the things that we try and do… we’re getting kids from all five boros, all socio-economic backgrounds, we’re trying to get kids to find their own voice. The student voice. Where are they coming from, wat do they think about the issues and how do we get them to talk to other kids about that as opposed to a traditional school where they’re facing and talking to the teacher.
I would agree with that. I think what we want to do is help kids think. When we say help kids think we want them analyze, not just spit back answers. Um, uh, to work with each other and work off of each others ideas to develop their own ideas, to be able to use evidence to support what they think.
I think the central idea for me is the developing an argument and using evidence to support it and I think the second half is often lost when people talk about sort of progressive classrooms. They’re sort of oh, get kids to develop their own ideas. But the real discipline and real rigor comes when students are told, “Okay, I understand your argument. What’s your evidence for that?”
I think also we want to give them- we want them to have a sense of authority when they speak so that when they are engaging in a text they feel like they have something valid to contribute and what they’re contributing is very important.
We’re helping also to kids build sort of genuine respect for each other as thinkers and as people. I think that’s also very, very important.