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Best Idea Ever: Owning Knowledge

Education World's Best Idea Ever feature highlights a favorite teacher-tested idea designed to help you teach a lesson, manage a classroom, communicate with parents, impress colleagues and administrators—and amaze them all with your energy and creativity! 


My best idea ever has been allowing my students to conduct research on questions we cannot answer in class. I teach at the Baltimore Talent Development High School in Baltimore Maryland. For the past three years, I have allowed my 10th graders to vote for a student researcher every Monday. They love it and so do I!

Every Monday, a new student is voted as the class researcher. They can earn one service-learning hour per day for their services to our class. Talk about owning your knowledge! They report out the next day or by the end of the week. Sometimes I use the information as bonus questions on a test or quiz.

This instructional strategy has been instrumental in getting my students involved in community events, planning fundraisers, and other service-learning projects. I also have found it to be helpful with students who otherwise would be disinterested in the class. They seem to love the fact they can be a leader in the classroom. My high school assessments scores have increase dramatically as well. Students seem so eager to learn American Government and World History in my class now!

I would encourage all teachers to use something like this in their classrooms.

Submitted by: Cheree Davis, history teacher, Baltimore Talent Development High School, Baltimore, Maryland

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