There were so many parts of the inquiry based learning article and lesson that I appreciated. Scott talked about how proud his students felt to be authors and in the article he writes “our students acted as historians, scientists, statisticians, and writers.” Instead of just reading other people’s research, students were encouraged to actively engage in the research themselves. This idea not only builds knowledge and critical thinking skills, but also self-esteem… each of these topics are themes that have come up within this course.
The book the students created was rooted in place, it was all about Nikiski. Scott mentioned that many students got to interview their grandparents as part of the project. This whole part of the unit helped students meet the student Cultural Standard A. “Culturally-knowledgeable students are well grounded in the cultural heritage and traditions of their community.” (60) I really like projects that give students a chance to connect with family and view their own family members as experts in their culture, traditions, and history.
Within the article, I really appreciated the way students were given a chance to reflect on the process of building the book about Nikiski. It’s great to hear the student’s voice come out in their descriptions of how they completed each section. Having students write about the process could act as an assessment tool and give an educator the chance to refine the process for future projects.