Skip to main content

Education professors write book on inquiry-based learning

December 11, 2008

The power of inquiry in a classroom where English speakers and learners work side by side is examined and demonstrated in a new book by ASU education professors Carole Edelsky, Karen Smith and Chris Faltis.

The book, titled "Side by Side Learning: Exemplary Literacy Practices for English Language Learners and English Speakers in the Mainstream Classroom," includes a DVD that features diverse students working side by side, and the teachers who use their students’ curiosity to guide them through ordinary units of study. Inquiry-based learning energizes learning through natural curiosity and exploration, and builds background knowledge.

The authors show teachers how to use materials all learners can touch and manipulate as well as read, write and talk about. The book explains how teachers can integrate inquiry into commercial or mandated programs they  already areusing, and shows how they can support and stretch English learners’ language development though the use of charts, dictation and sentence starters.

Carole Edelsky, emeritus professor of curriculum and instruction with the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, has focused her research on language and language learning. She is the 2007 NCTE Outstanding Language Arts Educator of the Year and the author of "With Literacy and Justice for All: Rethinking the Social in Language and Education."

Karen Smith is an associate professor of language and literacy and the director of professional development at Fulton College. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, including the Richard Halle Outstanding Middle School Educator award from the National Council of Teachers of English, the ASU College of Education Dean’s Excellence Award for Faculty Teaching and the John Chorlton Manning Public School Service Award from the International Reading Association.

Christian Faltis is a professor of bilingual education and applied linguistics whose published works include "Teaching English Learners and Immigrant Students in Secondary School," "Teaching English Language Learners in Elementary School Communities: A Joinfostering Approach" and "Immigrant Students in U.S. Schools: Building a Pro-Immigrant, English-Plus Education Counterscript."