My Idea


"The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it's to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they're valued." ~ Sir Ken Robinson


Yesterday my post asked the same question to 5 leaders from my PLN that I respect. The question was; "If you had the power to make 1 change, and 1 change only that would help to improve schools, what would it be?" They didn't disappoint with their responses, they were great. 

Soon after I published the post, Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) asked what my 1 change would be. I'm glad she asked because I had planned to post my idea today. As I considered the many ideas that would have a positive impact on schools I kept coming back to something I see almost every day in some shape or form - inquiry. Whether it's through passion projects, genius hour, FDK, science or even 3-act math, inquiry has such great potential when it comes to transforming the learning environment for schools. Unfortunately we're not all there yet. There are pockets of great examples of inquiry. I see examples in my school and many others through Twitter. Every time I see it in action I see students engaged and having fun. It's great to hear, see and feel the energy in a room when inquiry is the focus.

The reason I think that inquiry, implemented across the curriculum by all teachers, would improve schools is the focus it places on tapping in on students' interests. Passion projects, personalized learning, exploration, and investigation would engage students in learning about the world around them and most importantly what interests them.

So if I could implement one change it would be for every teacher to embrace inquiry across the curriculum. I believe it would allow teachers to give a platform for student voice, making meaningful connections to what matters most to students. Plus, it's just fun!

If you haven't commented on what 1 change you would make, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Technology Can Be Invisible
5 Leaders, 1 Question

Related Posts


Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars
Add comment

People in this conversation

  • Aviva

    Thanks for sharing your one idea, David! I've been anticipating this blog post today, and I kept on refreshing your blog tonight to hopefully see the post when it was published. :) Now that you've shared your one idea, I almost feel as though I want to take mine back, as inquiry is such a great idea! I really didn't embrace the philosophy until last year (in Grade 5), and my teaching has changed so drastically both this year (in Grade 1) and last year because of inquiry. I think that it actually results in less "teacher talk" and more "student talk" and "doing," so maybe I could link my idea with yours. :) Seeing more inquiry in schools would be great! It allows students to be better thinkers and more engaged learners ... what's better than that?

    The hard part though is that inquiry often really requires the teacher to change his/her practices. We need to listen to students more and be willing to make changes in plans based on student interests and needs. We need to be comfortable with students making mistakes, and supporting them, as they uncover more of the answers on their own. We need to get better at questioning and wait time (two things that I continue to work on). We also need to shift how we address content in the classroom: with less full class lessons and more facilitating of small groups. There are usually lots of concerns regarding assessment, evaluation, variation of assignments, and accommodating and/or modifying for students with special needs. And so, I can't help but wonder, how do we change this "one idea" into "one reality." Where would you start?


  • David

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Aviva!

    You're right inquiry ends up with less teacher talk and more student talk. Some may get the impression that the talk and doing generated by students is excess noise. But if you really listen to what is being discussed among students and watch their actions there is a lot of learning going on. It's something that many teachers would need to comfortable with as it would certainly mean a change in their practice. But it is a change that is worth it. It's a tough question on where to start. With FDK the hope is that eventually the practices implemented in FDK with inquiry will produce students who are comfortable with the process and students who really want to participate in it. That will push teachers in other grades to do the same. Changes in all the curriculum documents will help support teacher practice as will changes in programming at faculties of education. It won't be a quick change, but one that happens slowly over time. :)