Inquiry Is The Heart Of Technology

I teach IB middle school Technology. Oftentimes, people mistake the subject for a computer class, where students learn how to type or work with programs. It isn’t like that at all. Technology class is about inquiring and problem-solving, where students learn how to develop solutions. It aims to hone their critical and creative thinking skills in order for them to have their ideas fully realized. This class embraces the process of trial and error, hoping that the students reflect and improve on their mistakes.  In the two years that I have been teaching this class, today’s 8th grade class made so much sense of why the IB curriculum is the way it is. Today, the cliche’ the teacher becomes the student could not be truer.

All along, I was trying to equip the students with the skills that might help and support them in constructing their solutions, neglecting the fact that they learn best when given the freedom to inquire and investigate. Realizing where I could improve, I am now making conscious effort to allow the students to take more risks during the process of problem-solving. This is requiring a lot of trust on my part but I, apparently, had nothing to worry about.

Today, the 8th grade class reflected on their first unit, where they were asked to develop solutions for problems that students face. It was evident that the creative freedom and trust empowered them to do their best and allowed them to take ownership of their work. Through a Harkness discussion, they said that this unit made them feel “happy and proud.” That was all that I needed to hear.

The 8th graders reflected using the Harknes Method, where the students discuss without their teacher. This is a visual representation of how the discussion went. I wrote down the students' ideas reflections on the side.

During this reflection, one of the students said this class was Human Ingenuity in action. Awesome!

Today was a good day to be a teacher.


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