I have never heard of this term Rhizomatic learning before this class. I felt a little bit embarrassed listening to the session and not having full understanding. I admit I “Googled” the phrase to try and get my head wrapped around what I was about to learn and have a conversation about. What I got out of the presentation was that it is similar to inquiry based learning. Students are responsible for their own learning; it doesn’t just stop after an assignment is handed in or a unit is completed. Learning should be ongoing and is considered a process.Through learning new questions and new understandings develop it can and will lead to more research or a completion of a project.
I admit that as an educator I am having troubles following this method and way of teaching. I like control. I am not the type of teacher to teach directly from a text book but I still am having troubles letting go and allowing students to be creative and in charge of their own learning. Students are also having some issues with this concept they start a project or research and they want to know when they are finished. I try to get them to develop questions and find their own answers but they don’t take it further they stop and become bored of the idea.
Has anyone had success in using inquiry in the classroom? What are some areas that inquiry works best into the Saskatchewan curriculum? One of my favourite inquiry project that I have done was in math class. I wanted students to show their understanding of geometric shapes. To do this they needed to make a castle or a monster using as many shapes as possible. When they completed the project they needed to name the shapes they used by presenting their poster with a partner. Students also had to decide which poster they wanted to try and make into a 3D model. Students really enjoyed this project as it was hands on and I loved it because it gave me tons of opportunity to asses their learning.
Assessment. The dreaded question and what I find to be the hardest part of the job. How do you asses a process and not a final project? I have been using outcome based reporting and rubrics. I find that this works best for me. Kitchener school has developed some awesome reports for math and Language arts. I give full credit to a dear friend of mine for developing this model- Jillian Bussiere With her permission I hope I can post some examples of these reports.
If anyone has any examples of inquiry based project in the middle years I would love to hear from you! I will also try to post some websites and blog that I find useful on this concept.