Imagine You, at the Top of Your Game, with a Room Full of Ready Learners

Imagine You, at the Top of Your Game, with a Room of Ready Learners

“Without action, the goals of ‘genuine student inquiry’ and ‘personalized learning’ will remain aspirational.  — Jay McTighe, co-author of the Understanding by Design® series

Do you have an INQUIRY MINDSET? Are you nurturing an INQUIRY MINDSET in your students? In Grounded Learning and its 4-tiered framework, we talk about the importance of personalized and project-based learning, core to this shift in education is the acquisition of an INQUIRY MINDSET.

When there are so many things you can do, you want to do the thing that can be leveraged for the greatest impact. For educators, that one thing is an INQUIRY MINDSET.

  • Learning loss? Inquiry mindset. (Fear and apprehension constricts the brain’s ability to learn, validating and valuing student voices helps expand the brain allowing for information to be received and processed.)

  • Trauma healing? Inquiry mindset. (The power of questioning is key to trauma recovery. The freedom and strength to ask the hard questions, even if they are questions of self is part of the recovery.)

  • Personalized student learning? Inquiry mindset. (Imagine standing at the edge of a wilderness trail not being ask a question. The wilderness trail is this case is a student’s educational journey and the purpose of the journey is to tell the student story. If it is their story, then they should be asking the questions.)

  • Delivery of instruction? Inquiry mindset. (Think of it as a joint venture. Empowering students to take ownership of their learning, co-creating with you.  The classroom becomes an environment of engagement where ideas are exchanged and honored.)

  • Equity? Inquiry mindset. (In the Grounded Learning work, we share that equity has hidden within it the solution – EQ-U-ITY – the emotionally intelligent state of exercising empathy, acceptance, and kindness with self, and as a result, those around you. I felt disadvantaged so now I need to make you feel disadvantaged is not equity, it’s a cry for healing.)

  • Teacher burnout? Inquiry mindset. (A co-partnering agreement where students have the freedom to build their learning stories through inquiry mindset is a burden shared, and a burden shared is a load lifted.)

Inquiry mindset speaks to all of these things and more. Inquiry mindset is the CASA of learning. In America, we use the term CASA to refer to someone who stands in the gap or advocates for a child.  Inquiry mindset in the classroom is your learning advocate.  It is your CASA.  It encourages and provides:

  • Courageous Curiosity – to challenge, to make the ask, to face the fear

  • Access – new experiences, new ideas, new possibilities

  • Student Voice – found, valued, validated

  • Agency – giving confidence in ability leading to ownership

Imagine the weight that will be lifted from your shoulders when you are able to share the gift of an inquiry mindset.  Force multiply your efforts in the classroom with an INQUIRY MINDSET. To learn more about INQUIRY MINDSET, check out the work and writing of Trevor MacKenzie, international voice on the topic.  You will be glad you did!  Happy Inquiring!