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avatar for Heather Corman

Heather Corman

Navigate SD#71
Secondary English, Compass 10-12, and Independent Directed Study 10-12.
I have been teaching (primarily English in its many forms) at the secondary level for thirty-five years. Offering my students some choice in both how they learn and how they demonstrate that learning has always been important to me as it increases engagement; however, feeling overwhelmed, my initial forays consisted merely of offering one or two choices in final projects.

My first real immersion in inquiry occurred when I took on the role of gifted education coordinator at my high school. As part of my role, I was assigned a class of about twenty-five students. My job was to help each of them explore their passion during the semester. That should be fun and easy! Right? Let's just say that it was not just my students who learned a lot about inquiry that semester.

My exploration continued after that school year. I have had the opportunity to learn from many educational leaders, including George Couros, Alec Couros, Leyton Schnellert, and (most recently) Trevor MacKenzie. All of these mentors have helped to shape my teaching; however, in my presentation, I will focus primarily on Trevor MacKenzie's work. We will explore the different types of student inquiry (from structured to free inquiry). I will share my process in creating an inquiry-based module for English Studies 12 (a guided inquiry), and my work with Independent Directed Studies students in grades ten to twelve (free inquiry).

I am hoping to have time for participants to explore and share their own essential questions and resources, so please bring your ideas with you!