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“Inquisitive minds are the safeguards of our democracy, now and forever.” John Barell

And they also may scare us to quivering mush!

Why? Because our perception is that questions may lead us away:

From the “right” answer-
From the prescribed time allotment-
From our plan and our pacing-
Toward a realm where the teacher is not the all-seeing, all-knowing Carnac of the Classroom. carnac.jpg

Thank Goodness! What a Relief!

Realize this and you will live longer and have more fun!

And you will have time to sit down, rest a bit, and read, “Why Are School Buses Always Yellow” by John Barell, Professor Emeritus, Montclair State University. (Corwin Press and Amazon)

Why Are School Buses Always Yellow” encapsulates years of theory into workable practice. I probably would have saved thousands in college tuition loans if this resource had blessed me decades ago! (virtual “Wish I’d had a V-8” moment)!

Barell reiterates that questions signal higher-order thought processing which is the goal of effective classroom interaction and innovation. He reminds us that student questions are the attainment of the highest thinking skills. It is what we trained for people!

Too many books declare WHAT an important concept inquiry teaching is. But, after the studies are noted and the experts quoted, there are very few pages left for the actual implementation: HOW TO DO inquiry-oriented teaching. It’s about time that a book came along that speaks to “HOW” to reach and develop inquisitive questioning.

Barell’s visits to classrooms and discussions with both teachers and students form a dynamic role-play model. You will no doubt relate to the student responses and learn from modeling Barell’s effective inquiry teaching practices. I also appreciate the structure of the chapters. Barell allows space for reflection, an often overlooked phase of learning.

Granny Newlen always admonished us kids to “Learn, discuss, then then get up and move.” She used such a phrase to get us up off the couch for learning-walk where we would tell her what we had learned at school.

Go on your own “learning walk” to the bookstore, online or F2F, and buy this book. 😉