"you're sort of teaching them to us in a way that we're discovering them ... as opposed to lecturing about here's what inquiry is, which I cannot stand, instead modeling it, having us do it, which takes time, and having to learn that it in multiple levels."
"I think the thing that this cohort has over that cohort group was that there always the four of you as the go to people. And you guys [TI developers] are beyond enthusiastic about what you're doing here and it shows."
"There is a purpose to everything that is being done in this program and even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment, later you're like, oh, that was why I had to do this. You [TI developers] have actually thought through all the things that we're doing."
"The resources I'm going to walk away with are incredible too. Leaning how to go to the website and look at articles, the instructors here at Grand Valley, stuff to use in the classroom, and fellow teachers. Knowing that if I get into a bind I know that I can call or email and I will get responses back in a constructive way. I think we've got so close together that we're not afraid to tell it like it is."
"But what TI did for me is bridge the gap between what I think and believe and what I practice...And it also not only started to bridge that gap, it's given me the tools that I can see one of these days, they may actually meet each other, and that's exciting to me."
"I realized I can just really let the kids do it....cause I think that's kind of a scary concept for me. I always think, "No, they need to know this first." "No, they really don't need to know this first."
"...[inquiry] is doable. It's not impossible. And when I saw the breadth of the activities that we looked at, that just about anything can be done in an inquiry manner."
"I think part of the issue we had with content coverage was that most of the inquiry labs we had seen before were about the process of science and not content learning. And we really made a focus, through your [the instructors'] direction, that this had to be about the content not just about the inquiry process. And though we tied in our inquiry benchmarks, the goal was always the content. And I think that made a huge difference because now if we're spending two days doing an inquiry lab but it's about the content we want the kids to focus in on, then we're ok."
"Back to this culture of inquiry, it's spilling out all over. I'm applying these ideas in my math classes too and it's fun to force the students to look to resources other than me to find information. I know it's difficult for them at first since they are so used to teachers giving them answers."
"I'd say that motivating students is almost a non-issue now. I don't want to say it's a non-issue, but definitely in my chemistry classes, it's not like 'why do we have to do this' or 'this is dumb.' I don't have those questions anymore, and I remember way back to the beginning when we were talking about all our barriers. Now the students just jump right into the labs and they enjoy them."
About Student Comments
Student comment to year end question asking what they liked most about their chemistry class: "I also enjoyed doing the experiment where I had to figure out which mining site had the higher concentration of copper so as to make mining worth it at that location. I was a little confused at the beginning but having to figure out things for myself put me into a situation where I was actually independent. I'm not always good at coming up with things on my own. I can come up with specific answers when they can be figured out but this tested me to come up with my own numbers, which ended up coming out to a conclusion that actually made sense. I enjoyed doing this experiment because it is relevant to life. People actually do things like that to see what mining site would yield more copper, or other substances, so that a profit can be made."
Teacher response to student comment: "This is a student who could do a chemistry math problem after watching one example and then breeze through a worksheet. Thanks for the way that TI has changed the education for my students!"