Going with the Flow and But That’s Just Good Teaching seem to connect through the idea that creating an effective learning for students must focus on engaging students. Utilizing the ideas of culturally relevant pedagogy and inquiry-based learning would likely create the best environment for students.
Neither alone would likely be able to wholly engage students. If the inquiry question does not interest the students or, even worse, they are not allowed to pursue the question in the way that interests or motivates them then they will not participate in the work. However, even if the teacher tries to make the classroom culturally relevant to their students interests but fails to provide an active learning process then once again the students will not participate due to a lack of involvement in their own learning process.
Also, an important link to both these articles is the idea that both culturally relevant pedagogy and inquiry-based learning is basing the students on a foundation of critical thinking. Going with the Flow wants students to ask pointed questions that are based around guiding the students into critically thinking about what they do, how they can use it, and what they can take away from the material. Importantly culturally relevant pedagogy according to Ladson-Billings “students must develop a broader sociopolitical consciousness that allows them to critique the cultural norms, values, mores, and institutions that produce and maintain social inequities” (Ladson-Billings, 162). The classroom must accept and include diverse cultures and critically evaluate the dominate culture. Going with the Flow compliments this through “meaningful making” the students must make complains or take a stance on the position through their inquiry. By using culturally relevant “essential questions” or include culturally relevant questions during the inquiry process a teacher can combine the cultural relevancy and inquiry model into one whole to promote critical thinking.
Many schools and most educators promote the idea of critical thinking as the goal of education or at least one desired outcome, however; a curriculum that focuses on what Freire calls “banking education” is focused on breadth of content and not on using what the students have supposedly learned. It would seem obvious that trying to teach someone without being able to tell them why would lead to poor outcomes however that is what happens to many K-12 students. Saying to students that they should do the work just so they can achieve a grade or go to college is not good enough. If a student only knows “banking education” it would be wonder if they wanted to go to college and no one should blame them for that. Adults will not accept an answer of “because I say so” and students should be treated as the thinking individuals that they are too.
Ladson-Billings also says that a common thread amongst the high performing teachers were that they were “equitable” and “they encourage the students to ask as teachers.” Having students be inquirers puts onus on them to take charge in their learning and become partners in the educational process. This puts more responsibility and agency on the student. When students are given choice, agency, it has been shown that they become more motivated and involved in their own learning. Letting students use knowledge and create with knowledge creates better outcomes for everyone in the classroom. Students are thinking, reasoning, and feeling individuals and not mere receptacles to be filled from the teachers well of knowledge.
Ladson-Billings and Going with the Flow show that learning should be an active process and that knowledge is a form of creation. Passivity will never be the best way to position the student in relation to both the teacher and learning.
At the end are the two articles I am comparing available for you to pursue. Also, is a lecture summary and guide for inquiry-based learning for your quick reference convenience