Thursday, 30 May 2013

Our inquiry disposition...

Think outside the box... it’s where the by ArtJonak, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  ArtJonak

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend ConnectED Canada recently at the Calgary Science School (CSS), and even more fortunate to participate in a dialog session with the schools superintendent, Dr. Gary McKinnon. At one point Dr. McKinnon was responding to a participant's question about the element of inquiry at the Calgary Science School. In our work with CSS to help develop an inquiry based school of our own, our definition of inquiry is perpetually evolving. Something Dr. McKinnon said resonated with me...
Inquiry is not a program; its a disposition.

dis·po·si·tion

[dis-puh-zish-uh n]
 
noun
1. the predominant or prevailing tendency of one's spirits; natural mental and emotional outlook or mood; characteristic attitude.
2. state of mind regarding something; inclination.



I think it's critically important for us to understand Dr. McKinnon's words. Inquiry is not a program to be sure. Effective implementation of inquiry teaching and learning derives from thinking deeply about things we want to learn. It's about thinking outside the box as we ask questions seeking answers that lead to new questions. It needs to be framed as an attitude that permeates everything we do in a teaching and learning context at Glendale. It needs to evolve toward being an automatic response... an inclination that eventually feels effortless. Inquiry is a disposition.

I think we're getting close to a collective inquiry disposition at Glendale School. We are changing for the good, and we're doing it together.