“This Day in History…” Series Archives

February 2019

Eleanor Duckworth’s “Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain” was released in February 2000. Drawing from the work of Jean Piaget and Bärbel Inhelder, Duckworth has conducted teacher education, curriculum development, and program evaluations across the globe. Dr. Duckworth delivered a keynote address at the 2003 AATC Annual Conference.

As a student of Piaget, Duckworth recognized the impacts of students’ prior learning experiences and knowledge. Teachers can challenge students to explore and expand their thinking through appropriately planned learning opportunities. In “Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain,” Duckworth and her colleagues explore how students of all ages connect and engage in learning. Through the work of Duckworth, educators can be reminded of the importance of listening to student explanations and using student voice to develop learning opportunities that move from questions to deeper learning and answers.

As we consider the work of Dr. Duckworth, we can strive to continue to develop and use curricula that allow students to have a voice that leads to meaningful and engaging learning experiences. The following questions may help us to further our work. In the spirit of encouraging dialogue, a foundational component of AATC’s identity, we encourage you to share your thoughts and engage in discourse in the comments section:

  • What methods can we use to aid in listening to learners explain? How can we use what we learn from listening to students to develop improved learning opportunities?
  • How can we use student explanations to inform educational decisions? How can Duckworth’s ideas be applied to learners of various ages and levels?

January 2019

January 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of “Teaching Thinking Through Effective Questioning” by AATC founding member and 1995 AATC Annual Conference keynote speaker Francis P. Hunkins. Dr. Hunkins is a longstanding advocate of curriculum and its role in teaching and learning, including the value of questions to drive instruction. As educators prepare to teach students of all ages, it is important to consider effective questions and the decisions that allow for the development of thinking skills.

The role of the educator includes planning for, use, and assessment of questions that can spur thinking. Educators can identify types of thinking aligned with concepts being taught to aid in the development of relevant, effective questions. From teacher planning and instruction, experiences can allow students to gain the skills necessary for asking and assessing their own questions. These student-developed questions coupled with appropriate scaffolds can drive student learning and thinking. As students expand their learning beyond the classroom, effective questions and related thinking skills can be a valuable tool in the application of their learning.

As we consider the work of Dr. Hunkins, we can strive to continue to develop and use curricula that encourage effective questioning and critical thinking. The following questions may help us to further our work. In the spirit of encouraging dialogue, a foundational component of AATC’s identity, we encourage you to share your thoughts and engage in discourse in the comments section:

  • What roles do teachers and students have in questioning and thinking? How do these roles complement each other?
  • When considering an adopted curriculum, how can educators draw from the work of Hunkins to support student development of questions that can drive learning?
  • When considering unwritten or hidden curricula, how can educators draw from the work of Hunkins to use questioning that develops critical thinking skills?

Written by Dr. Corey Nagle