On the journey of my teaching career, it has been my privilege to witness the power of children interacting with other adults. From that moment in my second year when I realized my little (until then mostly silent) new Canadian from Korea kindergarten student had repeated several words in a row with eyes locked on our visiting guest cowboy “speaker” to the engagement of 12 year old boys coming to an understanding of molten lead from a linotype machine operator turned computer graphic designer, I have marveled at the pure magic of this type of interaction.
Over the last few years, I have been gratified to learn that the neuroscience behind this magic is being explored through research. I just LOVE reading that science has “proved” something I have “known” for years.
Looking for a great read on Brain Science and teaching? I have just finished John Medina’s Brain Rules. Check it out.
Experts and learning-stuff-from-them is an integral piece of the inquiry cycle and learning in general. Interview as a structured time to get answers to questions is an important skill for all learners. It is one of the bed-rock activities of a site-based program. The opportunities of being out where adults work is part of a real world learning rich environment and some of those adults taking time to listen and answer student questions, provide ingredients that make for engagement and deep connection.
The beginning of the new school year affords a teacher one of those perfect times to introduce and polish interview skills. New faces in the class or school, summer adventures, expanding horizons or “How do you think the Oilers will do this season?” provide some interview teachable moments.
Jennifer Gonzalez, creator of one of my favorite education blogs, Cult of Pedagogy, posted an inspiring set of Ice Breaker activities for the start of a class year.
Doug Lipman, a storyteller and teacher, has a great collection of steps to building interview skills, using story games.
And what can I say about Story Corps? Genius idea and I admire everything about it. Their work on developing the idea of asking very open ended questions of those closest to us to gather personal narratives is creating an amazing collection of …. great stories.
How about sending the art of interview home to collect some family anecdotes?
Use the students' beginning experiences of interview to teach designing better questions. There is wonderful support for the questioning classroom at Teach Thought , another of my favorite education blogs.
You can Google “fat skinny questions”. This is a set of lesson ideas by Jacqui Sharp.
Now get busy.
What’s stopping you?