As teachers we want many of the same things for our students as parents want for their children. We want to raise the next generation of adults, to stimulate the intellectual abilities of the youth, and to guide our students to become strong members of our society. To accomplish this we realized our students needed to be deeply engaged in relevant learning, to process information in an abstract way, and to strengthen their problem solving, planning, and critical thinking skills.
In the beginning of our careers we went about teaching our subjects with the books and worksheets, activities, labs, and various other teaching tools used by teachers. As we excelled in our craft, our students were quickly able to recite important factors that precipitated the civil war, draw Bohr models and note the number of valence electrons, and identify universals in test questions in order to choose the most likely correct answer. But while these were excellent ways to teach the content of our various subjects, we saw a flaw in the process. Our students were not developing into the critical thinkers that we desired. Our students were excellent at reciting content and taking tests, but they were equally good at repeating incorrect information found in books and on websites.