So, this time in my inquiry class, I began the class by spending more time framing the class in terms of my students’ future careers as elementary school teachers. On the first day, among other things, we discussed what we thought would happen when a pendulum is let go just at the top of its swing, then we watched and discussed a video of a 4th grade class discussing the same question, and finally we read for homework a case study written by the teacher of that class.
Here is what one student wrote in their response:
“I admit, as we talked about this in class, I thought the discussion was a little juvenile. I knew what was going to happen when the pendulum was finally dropped, and my reasoning was sound, but people kept bringing up different hypotheses that were wrong! It irritated me that this was the case. However, after watching the video and reading the case study I realize that I missed the whole point–which is, I am sure, what Brian was trying to teach me; it’s all about knowing how and why your students think, and nothing about what is exactly the right answer…The process itself must not be overlooked, and that is where I faltered. It was my own preconceived notion of what to expect in this class and this particular lesson that skewed me from, at first, seeing the value of what we were doing… [The way the lesson was taught] allowed the opportunity to think and allow arguments to be constructed and torn down”