PhotoCC- By Derek Bruff
Inquiry-based learning is seeking knowledge, information, or truth through questioning. When used correctly, it triggers curiosity and encourages the students to ask questions and delve deeply into their topic of interest. Inquiry-based learning is a teaching tool that is very important, but is not always the main strategy used, however, a common inquiry-based learning strategy is know as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Though, I think it should be use more often than what I have seen in my local area, maybe it is used more in others.
In an inquiry classroom, the teacher asks questions that are more open and reflective. These questions are especially important in the lower grades because they allow students to build a foundation for self-initiated questioning. There are four different categories of questions that are asked when inquiring; inference, interpretation, transfer, and questions about hypotheses.
Inference questions ask students to go beyond immediately available information. They ask the students to push beyond the facts and find clues, examine them, and discuss what inferences are justified. They ask students to find missing information. Interpretive questions propose that they understand the consequences of information or ideas. Transfer questions provoke a kind of breadth of thinking, asking students to take their knowledge to new places. Hypothesizing can be a way of teachers making students aware of their expectations and what inquiry-based learning is about. Here is what an inquiry-based classroom looks like:
This video truly inspires me! I hope that I can conduct learning in this way. I feel that students really take more away from this than traditional education strategies.
I feel that an inquiry based classroom would almost look chaotic with busy bodies working hard on their projects. I would be excited to see the questioning, connection making, and learning going on in my classroom and I would hope that my students would be just as excited to be engaged and working on their projects. I feel that inquiring minds are happy students. They are not bored with school and think learning is fun and intriguing. I am curious to see if a teacher could lead a solely based inquiry-based learning classroom even if it is not the school’s philosophy. I am also curious to see how much planning it take to be a successful at inquiry-based learning.
All-in-all, I hope that in my future classroom I can conduct many inquiry-based lessons. I want my students to be excited about learning. I hope that they will take their curiosity and truly learn from it. I hope that they will be able to take their experiences and reference them to later experiences. I think that inqury-based learning is an essential learning strategy that benefits students whose needs are not met by traditional instruction.
A few activities or ideas that may take place during the inquiry-based learning are: