Are My Students Actively Inquiring?
Note: Project PRIME has developed into the larger "Discovering the Art of Mathematics" project. The resources of Project PRIME remain as they were circa 2009. We encourage you to visit "Discovering the Art of Mathematics" for the continuation of the work begun by this project.
Practical Ways to Tell
Who's got the pencil?
If you have the pencil when you are helping a student then they are not active.
For many years whenever he saw a faculty member or a student tutor with a pencil in their hand, our colleague Prof. Bruce King would quietly walk up, remove the pencil from the hand of the teacher/tutor and hand it to the student.
Similar comments apply to chalk, dry erase markers, the mouse on a computer, etc. Hand them over to the students!
The mantra of our Department Chair Prof. John Judge is:
"My job as a teacher is to make myself irrelevant."
Are you doing your job?
Ask yourself: "What would happen if I walked out of my classroom?"
If the answer is "chaos", are your students really inquiring? Probably not.
We're not talking about leaving for an hour. But you should be able to step out of the room for a few minutes from time to time and still find your students willing and able to continue their learning. If you can't do this, perhaps you need to find ways to give a little more of the control over learning to your students.
What have your students taught you lately?
You are supposed to be the expert. But learning is so diverse. If you havenít learned anything from your students recently, this may suggest that you are not giving them the opportunity to learn on their terms.
© The material which makes up this Internet site is copyright 2009 by Julian Fleron, Phil Hotchkiss, Volker Ecke, Christine von Renesse.