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Conceptual Provocation

As a PYP educator, I am responsible to develop my students as thinkers and inquirers. In our approaches to teaching and learning, this can be done in different means. However, I was to reflect on the way we provoke the students to think and inquire into an issue.
As a provocation about the transdisciplinary theme “Where we are in place and time” and the issue of migration, we planned to lead the students to a class other than theirs and enjoy the tension that might arise. This happened in the morning on Monday, November 17, 2014.
Believing that provocations must be conceptually based, I was almost satisfied when my students kept on asking why we did this. One of the unit key concepts is causation. Students were able to articulate that everything happens for a reason, and I have a purpose behind what I did. Students started discussing possibilities trying their best to find an answer to their “WHY”.
They were afterwards invited to explore the new place. Partners moved and discussed the culture of the place and their feelings and opinions towards it. After that, they were tasked to reflect on their feelings and elaborate by giving reasons. Students were at the climax of questioning. They have uploaded all the tension needed to further explore why people move from one place to another, the different forms of migration, and the effects of migration. The connections made with previous learning experiences and literature read was more than amazing.
Before launching the unit, the students were able to guess that we are going to inquire into “Where we are in place and time”. In addition, they set criteria for effective central ideas using the one for the previous unit as a model. In cooperative groups, they set a hypothesis of a central idea. Do you think they will be able to reach the enduring understanding we, as educators, planned for? Will they be able to initiate new inquiries and articulate new conceptual understandings?
I am sure they will as long as they learn best though inquiry and as long as assessment tasks and learning engagements are concept-based.

Grade 5 (C) Homeroom Teacher  - Rola Hallak