Monday, September 16, 2013

What is "Flipped Inquiry"?

Today I introduced my second "flipped inquiry" unit of the year. What is "flipped inquiry," you might ask. Good question. I like to frame any of my flipped definitions from the "Flipped Mindset" blog post. Off the cuff, I would say it includes:

  • High-level thinking--investigation of non-googleable questions (in my case historical);
  • involving student choice with resources (which might involve video clips/screencasts), product, and/or questions,
  • Best use of face-to-face class time--coached & guided by teacher, 
  • refined and revised with peer and teacher feedback
In this unit we are looking at Ancient Mesopotamian Civilizations. Students are in self-selected pairs. In random order they were able to select their top choice based on availability. They have a variety of sources to help them defend their group as the "greatest." In the first steps today, students did a pretty good job of identifying the "best" parts of their civilization. However, something felt off, they were not going deep enough. Next class I will encourage them to face the aspects of their civilization that don't seem as great and get them to attempt to spin it in a positive light. 

Some potential EduFails with this one:
  • How can I get them to dig deeper? They seem to be satisfied finding a few positive accomplishments and ignoring the rest.
  • I can't shake the feeling (stemming from the last project) that I want more student choice with the questions/investigations. Can I let go (of control)?
I'll try to keep this process updated as we proceed with this unit/process/investigation. In the meantime, how might you define, "Flipped inquiry"?

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