Tag Archives: #berger

How can I make an educational impact?

As I am nearing the end of CEP 812, I was asked to think about my own personal beautiful question, as brought on by the final chapter of A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger.

Berger asks us to think about what our life’s beautiful question would be, and although, I don’t think I have yet stumbled upon my overall life question, I will say that the book helped me think about several questions directly related to my career and to think about where I am personally headed in my career as an educator.  Ultimately, I want to be able to make an impact — so my beautiful question is “How can I make an educational impact?” — with the students that I teach at the high school level and the adult-learners I teach at Apple.

This past week we were introduced to Thomas L. Friedman’s idea that intelligence (or your IQ) eventually won’t be as important as someone’s curiosity (curiosity quotient or CQ) and passion (passion quotient or PQ) for creation.  In breaking down my infographic, I decided to talk about the differences between passion and curiosity and how I feel connected to those as a student and as an educator.  I thought about other beautiful questions that someone might ask as they learn more about PQ and CQ and connected it with my passion and curiosity for technology both in and outside of the classroom.

My goal as an educator is to continually ask those Why, What if and How questions in and outside of the classroom. I want to be able to provide my students with an opportunity to ask questions, use technology and collaborate with each other. And through TPACK, I plan to continue creating innovative and engaging lesson plans and collaborate with my Professional Learning Network while also continuing to expand who I follow within my own filter bubble so as to stay open-minded.

Finally, as I was working on this, I started thinking about how the role of an educator is changing.  Especially since it’s common for those outside of the school setting to think that technology will wipe away (or replace) educators.  So I decided to ask one last question — Are teachers obsolete?

It honestly feels like we (in the education system) are in the midst of a major change in the way we educate and become educated in the 21st century. Eventually the role of teachers will no longer be direct instructional practices as they once were famous for.  No longer will the classroom look like one teacher in front asking questions, while students sitting in rows are answering those said questions. Teachers will be required to facilitate and mentor students to ask their own questions, discuss and collaborate with their peers and come up with their own solutions.

And with that, here’s my infographic:

pqandcq_deutch_25341700

 

Sources:

Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York: Bloomsbury.

Friedman, T. L. (2013, January 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html

WPP: Rethinking Teaching InfoGraphic

This week I got together with my Think Tank for my Wicked Problem Project. We brainstormed questions revolving around the wicked problem of Rethinking Teaching. After spending some time looking at the problem from several different standpoints – stubborn teacher, student and policy maker, we came up with three different sections to look at overall:

  1. Teacher Preparation
  2. Use of Technology
  3. Effective Assessment

These were the three main topics that came up as we ran through all of the questions we came up during our question brainstorming activity in week 3. After participating in the roundrobin discussion, we decided to prioritize our questions and came up with the following WHY questions:

  1. Why can’t the teaching and questioning be put into the hands of the students and away from the teacher?
  2. Why can’t traditional education change to be more hands-on?
  3. Why can’t there be more support to help teachers experiment in the classroom?
  4. Why are laws based on student performance on standardized assessment proficiency?
  5. Why can’t teacher performance be based on collaboration throughout the district or based on teacher creativity or teacher-student relationships?

After breaking our generalized topic (rethinking teaching) into specific questions my further research this week based on these questions has shown me how important this topic really has become as the 21st century has changed the way students gather information and work in a classroom setting.  I even came across an article from The Atlantic that questions the whole role of the teacher in general and asks the question of whether teachers are even necessary anymore. I am curious to see what the teaching profession could even become as rethinking education is a topic on the forefront of many policy makers and educational institutions in the United States.

 

 

WPP_Rethinking_Teaching
Want to view the interactive infographic? Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

Igniting Questioning in the Classroom

 

quote-the-mere-formulation-of-a-problem-is-far-more-essential-than-its-solution-which-may-be-merely-a-albert-einstein-373741
Source: http://izquotes.com/quote/373741

 

Moving forward into week 2 of CEP 812, I read through the first two chapters of Warren Berger’s (2014) book, “A More Beautiful Question.”  Berger, a journalist, decided to understand more about “the power of inquiry,” as he discovered that for many people, “their greatest successes — their breakthrough inventions, hot start-up companies, the radical solutions they’d found to stubborn problems — could be traced to a question (or a series of questions) they’d formulated and then answered,” (Berger, 2014. p. 1).

I too understand the inquiry that goes into journalism and felt connected to Berger when he was sparked to follow through on this topic after discovering it from a completely separate project he was working on. As an educator, I can agree to an extent his questioning of the current U.S. education system in that students are forced to sit still for hours at a time and have all of the right answers. “…Many educators and learning experts contend that the current system of education does not encourage, teach, or in some cases even tolerate questioning,” (Berger, 2014. p. 46).

Berger interviews Harvard’s Tony Wagner, who explains that:

“‘Somehow, we’ve defined the goal of schooling as enabling you to have more ‘right answers’ than the person next to you. And we penalize incorrect answers. And we do this at a pace — especially now, in this highly focused test-prep universe- where we don’t have time for extraneous questions,’” (Berger, 2014. p. 46).

This, in particular, is what got me thinking about the school that I currently teach at.  I teach at a charter high school in Detroit where the majority of our students are reading at an elementary (some at a middle school) level.  We are constantly bombarded by tests, this year alone, we have already scheduled our students to take the NWEA test four times, ANET testing four times, SAT, Work Keys, MSTEP (and I’m sure there are more tests that I am forgetting).  We are constantly pushing our students to work toward exams and offer incentives to students who test well and achieve high scores. I feel this takes away many opportunities for our students to be creative or more inquisitive in their classes because they are expected to remember facts for a test. And when a teacher’s “effectiveness” rating is tied to the students’ test scores, I think that there are times when many educators feel bombarded and/or rushed to not only teach the curriculum but also get students caught up on the previous curriculum that they are so behind in.

In the second chapter of Berger’s book, he asks the question: “If we’re born to inquire, then why must it be taught?” He discusses the Right Question Institute and their involvement in helping educators and businesses teach their students (or employees) how to ask questions and how to evolve their thinking through questioning.  This section was the most impactful for me because it had me thinking about my own classroom, and gave me ideas on ways that I could impact the students I teach daily.

I am quite grateful that I am a Spanish teacher — technically a required elective class— so I feel I can be more creative activities with my students. The “Question Formulation Technique,” from Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana’s Right Question Institute is something I’d like to incorporate in my own classroom. It allows students who normally sit in pairs (or groups) to ask questions (rather than answer them).

The program designed for K-12 classrooms goes like this:

1. Teachers design a Question Focus (Q-Focus).

2. Students produce questions (no help from the teacher; no answering or debating the questions; write down every question; change any statements into questions).

3. Students improve their questions (opening and closing them).

4. Students prioritize their questions. They are typically instructed to come to an agreement on three favorites.

5. Students and teachers decide on next steps, for acting on the prioritized questions.

6. Students reflect on what they have learned.

(Berger, 2014. p. 65)

I think incorporating activities like this into my Spanish class will give ALL students an opportunity to participate (because they’re not required to KNOW facts), and it will allow them to participate more in how they are learning (and even what they are learning).  It will also provide them the necessary support to know how to formulate questions that will get them to solutions in the long-run.

As educators, it is our goal to help our students continually grow and if we prevent them from understanding how to question more openly and freely to find new ideas, we are doing them a disservice (more so than when we don’t teach them straight curriculum facts).

Ever wonder how to ask the right question? Check out this video from Hal Gregersen during a TEDxYouth Talk about people can learn how to ask questions to navigate the challenges of today.

 

 

Sources:

Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York: Bloomsbury.

iz Quotes.  (2017). Albert Einstein Quote. [Online image].
Retrieved September 17, 2010 from http://izquotes.com/quote/373741

TedxYouth. [TedxYouth]. (2013, June 11). How To Ask The Right Question: Hal Gregersen at TEDxYouth@IFTA [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APVaTRNQmJc