An Invitation to Teach Outside the Box

It is my belief that there is no better time in a classroom than when students are curious and asking good, thoughtful questions. To help encourage this type of environment, I’ve been thinking about how to have a classroom that is driven by inquiry and provoked by questions.

This is how I found myself watching a new TED Talk given by Tyler Dewitt about science in the classroom.

During the talk, Dewitt shares that one of his best students told him that the science textbook he was using in class was positively boring, made no sense, and was difficult to understand. This concerned Dewitt because he knew the information in the book was must-learn and important. After some consideration, he made a resolution to not to go down in defeat and kept teaching the way he was, but to also take the most important information from the textbook and turn it into a meaningful story for his students. He saw immediate success. His students not only liked the material, but became engaged, inquired, and started asking more questions.

The beginning of the new school year is already here, or just around the corner. How will you get classroom students to become curious and ask questions? Will you give them an invitation to think outside the box? Will that happen because you give them that permission? Likely, those inquisitive, creative thinkers will search for answers, but how might we trigger them to find information to answer a question in a new or different way? Creativity and innovation are important to success in learning retention. Can you ease or eliminate any trepidations they may have by approaching your teaching delivery in a different way? Do a bit of research on your own and find some suggestions. Start the school year with some outside the box goals of your own. Will your students be eager to ask and find answers to their many questions?

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