Why I Inquire, and Hope Others Do Too
When it comes to the goals I have as an educator, helping to develop students who realize their full potential is top of the list. In large part, this means developing students who become life long learners, and in turn fully literate, critically problem-solving citizens in the world.
To me as a science teacher, this means that I must develop students who are curious about, and inquire into the world around themselves, yet can see beyond themselves. This also means, not just becoming problem solvers, but problem finders.
Unfortunately I teach in a reality in which there is no evidence that teaching leads to learning. Rather than despair in this (as I temporarily did in the past), I interpret this to mean my job is to create an environment that is the most possible conducive to learning the knowledge and skills that students will need to be the best problem finders and solvers that they can be.
However, if I can accomplish this, it is not satisfying enough for me to only accomplish this within the classrooms I teach. If education, and in particular science education, is to fulfill its potential to develop students who can solve the problems of the world, and the problems of the world that do not exist yet, then teachers need to work as a team to develop the learning environments conducive to this goal.
Therefore, I see a need not to solve our problems of developing inquiry skills at the level of the student. Instead I see the need to help develop a learning environment that supports problem finding and problem solving across classrooms, across schools, across the country, and across the world.