I was writing a final paper on alternate assessment and thinking of Inquiry Circles when one of Casey’s stories came to mind. It came from a summer adult class he taught a few years ago in S. Korea.  One woman’s question sparked the curriculum:

“How do I buy a hamburger?”

She had been to America and had been bewildered by the myriad ways of ordering hamburgers and the myriad toppings for them. She had no idea ordering hamburger could be so complex. Casey organized the entire course around her question and the questions that arose from it. He and the class then set about answering those questions…and the questions that arose from those questions.

I’m back to studying ELA [English Language Arts] for an additional certification now and am again struck by how often ELA can overlap with EFL. Using questions to drive the curriculum is a staple of both Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTigue) and Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action (Harvey and Daniels).

*Pseudonym

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