We often receive enthusiastic letters from teachers new to Shared Inquiry™, but a recent letter to Susan Galbraith, one of our professional learning consultants, is our new favorite. “Susan’s ideas gave me a big shock,” wrote Moo tsing chow, an elementary school teacher in Shenzhen, China “ . . . I never taught students as Susan did . . . It (Shared Inquiry) overturns my mind about English teaching . . . Before I met her, I was just like a man walking in the dark. She bring me light, courage, and confidence. That is the power I need to move on.” Wow, right?
Moo tsing chow was one of 36 elementary school teachers who participated in our third Shared Inquiry Essentials Course in Shenzhen last month. Thanks to our partnership with Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery—a former California educator & Great Books advocate who is now president of InterLangua, a Chinese professional service firm that branched into education—Shared Inquiry has been successfully implemented in area high schools, and the education bureau is expanding it into the lower grades and plans to train over 1,000 teachers.
“We brought Shared Inquiry into the Chinese public school systems as the main process to not only change the teacher stance in the classroom from lecturer to leader of questions, but also to give Chinese students the gift of reading original, challenging texts so they can contribute their own ideas without the fear of right/wrong answers,” said Montgomery. “Only in a questioning environment can our students flourish into lifelong critical thinkers. As teachers lead the process of questioning through Shared Inquiry, we can feel secure that they’re fostering 21st century skills. The Great Books approach complements the rigor required by the Chinese national curricula and creates ecologies of east-west understanding and mutual respect.”