Many faculty complain that the current generation of students are different. This has probably been said of every generation of students that has come before, but there is an interesting Frontline episode (“Digital Nation”) that explores whether the digital natives that fill the seats of most of your classrooms are becoming hardwired by modern technologies to be incapable of deep, sustained thought. I suggest, in my current Perspective, that the IF method may in fact provide a strong antidote against any such trajectory toward the cursory. I realized in a recent conversation with Keally that faculty seldom provide space for students to think deeply and broadly about an issue, problem, or concern– nor do they typically model how to do such thinking. The IF classroom is unique in its effort to provide space for real and sustained student inquiry. Now more than ever, students may be seeking this and may well connect with it more than we might imagine. I’d be very interested in hearing whether your students feel as if the IF experience is particularly fulfilling, engaging, and/or rewarding.
In case anyone was interested in the Frontline episode, I wanted to post the link here on the blog site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/