What if we develop a new whole school unit of inquiry, linked to our whole school focus?
What if teachers and learners focus on the same inquiry?
What if we critically evaluate all our units against a list of criteria generated by both teachers and learners?
What if units do not follow one after another, but rather overlap and intersect?
What if some units are year long, some short, some ongoing… depending on content, concepts, trans disciplinary possibilities and student interest?
What if we actively seek unexpected combinations of learning areas, like science and poetry?
What if one unit incorporates two trans disciplinary themes?
What if we wait to develop the lines of inquiry till we see where the learners want to take it?
What if we we have the same central idea for all the classes at one grade level, but each group of learners develop their own lines of inquiry?
What if we analyse our program of inquiry in terms of the concentric circle model and check the balance between opportunities for self discovery and thinking beyond ourselves?
What if all units focus not just on developing knowledge and understanding, but on developing human beings?
What if every grade level has at least one unit that is individual and personal, student selected and student driven?
What if we liberate ourselves from the traditional curriculum prison and explore new vistas?
These are some of the questions we are considering as we head into the annual review of our Program of Inquiry . We have already experimented with some of these ideas. How might we shift thinking and learning even further, for both teachers and students? What else might we explore?
I used to think the POI review was about checking for curricular alignment and conceptual development… Now I think it’s about asking even ‘more beautiful questions’.