Imagine walking by a classroom: you see the teacher talking while students feverishly take notes. Here students are absorbing information—this is a good thing, but it is only passive learning at its best. Discussion flips this picture: the students bring their questions and the teacher guides the discovery. This learning requires students to “go after” it. The teacher then models what lifelong learning looks like: seeking the best answers to your own questions. This is a powerfully forming process. Now the student becomes the wonderer, investigator, scholar. Students, encouraged to bring questions, search for answers in the wonderfully complex world beyond themselves. Class becomes a battlefield for students to wrestle with difficult ideas and explore new depths. The beauty is that students “remember” the answers to their own questions. They aren’t memorizing what they are being told; rather, the conversation is part of them. Walk by a classroom where students are pulling on their hair trying to figure out if Cyrus is good or bad: this is active learning. Ask, wonder, sharpen!

Miss Brittany Hartke