social interaction
This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review discusses the importance of "social capital" in schools. The author demonstrates how research supports a move away from the current model of rewarding individual teacher expertise, bringing in outsiders, and using the principal to monitor instructional practice. The research, she points out, supports increasing social capital in schools in order to increase student achievement.

One of the most effective instructional strategies I implemented in my high school math classes was cooperative learning. Students were actively engaged, struggling together to work out solutions to challenging problems. It was organized chaos - everyone had a role and played a part in the collaboration, but boy, were those kids digging deep and thinking. Hard. Sounds great, right? It was great, but it took time and lots of hard work on my part, and the part of the students, to get to that point.

inquiry magnifying glass

Colorado Teacher Quality Standard ID requires that "Teachers demonstrate knowledge of the content, central concepts, tools of inquiry, appropriate evidence-based instructional practices and specialized character of the disciplines being taught." Within this element, teachers must demonstrate that they incorporate a variety of inquiry methods and other instructional methods and that they support students to apply their new learning across content areas.