Category: Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship and No Fake Work

At a recent professional development session, one of the participants asked about the concept of apprenticeship in our curriculum. What did we mean by that, and where could that “apprenticeship” be found? Taking an inquiry-based approach, I could say that there are many possible answers to that question, some better supported than others. Instead, though, it had me thinking about the Inquiry By Design slogan, “No fake work.” One of the highlights of Inquiry By Design is that students are […]

Continue Reading

Metacognition and Self-Apprenticeship

“All apprenticeship begins with the instructor’s capacity
to describe the performance and/or product of the novice.”

I’ve used this quote often in talking about an apprenticeship approach to teaching, and somewhere along the line I’ve lost track of the source. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

In order to move any novice along a continuum, the expert must be able to describe to the novice exactly what she is doing, where her performance places her in relation to the […]

Continue Reading

TOP FIVE: Productive Student Discussion Strategies

If you read our recent two-part blog series about classroom discussions (What If No One Talks – Part 1 and Part 2) you might be in search of more strategies for apprenticing students to productive discussions in your classroom. We polled our fabulous team of master Inquiry By Design teachers and here are some of their favorites.



Asking students to write and discuss ideas with a partner before sharing with the larger group gives students more time to compose their […]

Continue Reading

Classroom Environment – Part 1

A few weeks ago, in our Teachers Are Like Gardeners post, I mentioned that at Inquiry By Design we believe the classroom culture that gives students the best chance of germinating, sprouting, and thriving is built around the three concepts of apprenticeship, conversation, and environment.

Let’s unpack this working backwards and starting with environment. Classroom environment can be a slippery and unwieldy concept that includes philosophical, intellectual, social, and physical elements. What do we really mean by this broad, umbrella word?

Ideally […]

Continue Reading

Teachers are Like Gardeners

Maslow Versus NCLB

When my son was in seventh grade I learned that his teacher would be looping up with him to eighth grade. I was distressed, because to say that his seventh-grade year had been less than academically rigorous would be a flagrant understatement. I considered moving him to a different school for his eighth-grade year, to prevent the brutal wake-up call he was headed for as a High School freshman. But my son’s teacher was doing a few things […]

Continue Reading