Posts by Carly Muetterties

Everyday Inquiry: Using Questions, Tasks, and Sources to Structure Lessons

Where’s the time for inquiry? You may have your students do Inquiry Design Model inquiries throughout the year or you may do one a semester. If you are just entering the inquiry world, you may not have done any before! In Kentucky, my home state, new social studies standards have been adopted that support inquiry […]

Creating a Compelling Question: What is a vote worth?

One of the more difficult parts of writing inquiries is often crafting a compelling question. As teachers, we ask questions every day. We ask essential questions to help students address “essential” content. We ask supporting questions to help break up complex tasks and check for understanding. A compelling question’s role is different. In inquiry learning, […]

Swimming in Sources: Selecting Sources to Propel an Inquiry

The face of an inquiry may be the compelling question, but the strength of an inquiry and its questions is grounded in sources. The most compelling of compelling questions can’t go anywhere if sources do not support it. Just like scholars’ research, student argumentation must be grounded in evidence. Without sources providing evidence, arguments are […]

Is my teaching too WEIRD?

Recently, I read social science researchers are way too weird. WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. Between 2003-2007, 96% of behavioral science research used WEIRD subjects. Accordingly, conclusions about the human mind are based on this very specific demographic group. However, WEIRD subjects are, well, weird themselves – scholars suggest that this […]

Question Everything: A Non-Partisan, Political Classroom

There is one thing on which both sides of the political spectrum agree – our country is in a hyper-partisan era. Tribal partisanship and blind uncritical acceptance of information has become all too banal. However you position yourself on the political spectrum, teachers are in a precarious position as they consider their role in helping […]

What are Teacher Needs for Civic Education?

Talk of civics education seems to be everywhere these days. From concerns about students not knowing enough civics to blaming election results on civics education to arguments that more rigorous civics classes won’t solve much. A recent article from NPR, asked what civics education needs to “stick” with students. The article suggests civics education must […]

Beyond Understanding: Doing Something with Content

When my nephew was first beginning to talk, one of the adults in the room said a curse word. The group winced. Picking up on this reaction, my nephew proceeded to repeat the word over and over and over. The fact that I couldn’t stop laughing didn’t help. My sister flashed a scowl in my […]

Focusing On Our Problems

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”― Albert Einstein Whether or not I consider my day as productive often is directly related to how much I produced. I’ve been writing some exams for my doctoral program and found I feel […]

Trust, But Verify: Student Responsibility in Inquiry

As much as I love all my students, when I became a teacher, I quickly learned some of the necessary boundaries of that trust. It’s a “trust, but verify” approach. I want to see evidence that they mean what they say. Once a dog ate a student’s assignment and she brought in the remnants as […]