Ewan McIntash suggests a compentency I certainly had not thought about in this way. I know quality inquiry starts with a student-generated question, but I had sort of bought into the purpose being to connect the student to the learning--that the question was part of the problem-solving process. McIntash suggests in his blog (http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2011/11/tedxlondon-the-problem-finder... we need to move beyond guiding our students toward being problem solvers to launching them into being problem finders. Do you have competencies like that in your curriclum? If so, how is it working, and what can you tell the rest of us about getting there?
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I think our student learning goals support "problem finders" as well as "problem solvers" because framing the problem is a key component to solving it.
Good to hear, Jason. I guess we just need to be more purposeful about these skills that are becoming increasingly important as we progress into the 21st.
We definitely need to be more purposeful. I proposed once that content area curriculum should ONLY be used to support the universal constructs. Granted, I was playing the devil's advocate, but people took a cold stance against me. Honestly, the universal constructs allow us to build meaningful learning experiences that will be remembered beyond a day.
Thanks for recommending this blog post! McIntosh does an excellent job of framing the true goal of PBL--which is often lost: the "driving question" must be crafted by the teacher to launch students toward a position of investigation and inquiry. It is here that the student's "need to know" transitions from the typical "I need to finish this worksheet" into a metamorphically different "I must become a part of a meaningful dialogue around this real-world challenge".
We need to grow students who challenge the status quo---but there is a catch! True innovation will begin with the foundational work of previous generations of scientists, philosophers, artists, musicians and engineers-- and then takes that work into a new dimension. As McIntosh points out in his blog, the creative genius lies in an ability to see the current reality, and then to find the unsolved "problems" or perhaps better "the unanswered questions" of that reality.
I also agree with Ellingson that the Universal Constructs are the end goal of all of our content area curriculum. Great art begins with foundational skill sets. Creative engineers must still work within a solid understanding of thermodynamics. The literary genius moves past simple grammar and mechanics--but never abandons them. The Nobel Prize biologist doesn't neglect or ignore the work of her predecessors but expands upon it.
So, in the end...what?
We write curriculum and frame competencies that open doors and build bridges between what was, what is and what will be in humankind's Great Conversation.
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