“Their Minds Must Be Improved to a Certain Degree”: A Learning Cycles Approach to Inquiry, pp. 5 of 5

These habits are among the most valued cognitive goals that we have for student’s learning, but also they are among the most valued democratic citizenship goals. Why? Democracies rely on citizens who can think well. As Jefferson said, “their minds must be improved to a certain degree”: citizens who can distinguish between evidence and opinion, between good arguments and good stories, between well-reached conclusions and outright lies. For these reasons, even beginning teachers, whether in kindergarten or college, should make it a priority to involve students in inquiry experiences. Inquiry is not only an instructional method, it is a curriculum objective.

References

  1. Baildon, M., & Damico, J. (2010). Social studies as new literacies in a global society. New York: Routledge.
  2. Barton, K. C., & Levstik, L. S. (2010). Why don't more history teachers engage students in interpretation? In W. C. Parker (Ed.), Social studies today: research and practice (pp. 35-42). New York: Routledge.
  3. Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., & Cockling, R. R. (2000). How people learn : brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  4. Bransford, J. D., Vye, N. J., Stevens, R., Kuhl, P., Schwartz, D., Bell, P., Meltzoff, A., Barron, B., Pea, R., Reeves, B., Roschelle, J., & Sabelli, N. (2006). Learning theories and education: Toward a decade of synergy. In P. A. Alexander & P. H. Winne (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (2nd ed., pp. 209-244). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  5. Dewey, J. (1910/1985). How we think, and selected essays (Vol. 6). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
  6. Jefferson, T. (1954). Notes on the State of Virginia. W. Peden (Ed.). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. (originally, 1787)
  7. Parker, W. C. (2011). Social studies in elementary education (14th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  8. Parker, W. C., Mosborg, S., Bransford, J. D., Vye, N. J., Wilkerson, J., & Abbott, R. (2011). Rethinking advanced high school coursework: Tackling the depth/breadth tension in the AP US Government and Politics course. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(4), 533-559.

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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