When I completed my student teaching experience in a high school physics classroom, I asked my students what they had liked about my teaching and what they hadn’t liked. Interestingly, what they enjoyed was also what frustrated them the most – that I rarely gave a direct answer to their questions. My goal was to train students to make their own conclusions based on direct observations of whatever they were studying. Though we only got part way to that goal during the few months that I was teaching, I think they got a taste for what science instruction without a textbook could look like. Some ate it up. Others pushed back and just wanted a tell-me-what-I-need-to-know-so-I-can-regurgitate-it-on-a-test format. But I saw enough potential in that method of teaching that it will remain a part of my teaching style for the rest of my career.
The sketch above is meant to start a conversation with students about this style of teaching and learning. In order for this method to work, it requires students to buy in to the system. For that reason I believe it is worth sharing with your students the reasoning behind it. This image might help you do that.