Inquiry Teaching: A Hallmark of Teaching in a Democratic Society

Teachers who instill as sense of inquiry in their classrooms are the educators who lead the rest of us out of the conservative and neoliberal paradigms that dominate education today.  These teachers know that teaching is not about skills, economic growth, job training and transmission of information.  To these teachers, classroom teaching is about equity, helping students learn to collaborate to learn, progressivism, and risk-taking.

Teachers who embody inquiry as a cornerstone in their philosophy of teaching are willing to cross into the unknown, and bring students along with them.  The teachers I have known who embrace this philosophy are courageous, imaginative, and creative.  Their method or pedagogy is influenced and based on a philosophy of inquiry in which they see their role as helping their students learn how to learn, as well as develop a love affair with learning.

Last month I published a little book entitled The Artistry of Teaching, that challenges the assumptions of present day reformers by showing that schooling is much more than teaching to the test, and that student learning should be encourage in a humanistic and experiential environment.  It’s about how teachers mingle art and science, as well theory and practice. It is about the artistry of teaching.

The fabric of teaching that emerges from teachers who practice inquiry is a mingling of art and science, theory and practice.

I put together a slide show that explores inquiry teaching based in part on The Artistry of Teaching.

There are many stories about inquiry teaching.  What are some of your ideas and beliefs about inquiry?

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University