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How to: Inquiry

How to: Inquiry
Will you ever just walk into class and ask, "Okay, what do you want to study today?" Of course not. Inquiry-based learning is founded on students taking the lead in their own learning, but it still requires considerable planning on your part. Projects must fit into your larger program structure, goals and plans, but the students will be actively involved in planning the projects with you and asking the questions that launch their individual inquiries. The Importance of Planning It's impossible to project all the possible ways in which you can build inquiry into programs, projects and activities, but preparing for most projects involves three basic steps: Pre-planning: Before going to the kids, determine any preliminary factors or characteristics that must be true in order to achieve your larger goals or plans. Ask questions such as "Where could you find resources to answer your questions?" Step-by-Step Through the Techniques Step 1: Posing Real Questions Step 2: Finding Relevant Resources

Fostering Inquiry-based Learning in Labs Using Google Spreadsheets Instructors in lab courses often find it difficult to simulate and discuss all phases of scientific inquiry during a single class period. For instance, individual lab groups may not be able to replicate experimental trials sufficiently in the time allotted, requiring instructors to compile data sets across lab groups before students can properly analyze and interpret results.Google Spreadsheets can circumvent this logistical barrier by allowing instructors to crowdsource the data aggregation and “cleaning” during class. For example, Chad Hershock and Rachel Niemer, CRLT, teach a short-course for postdocs on college teaching in science and engineering. During a unit on converting traditional, “cookbook” lab exercises into inquiry-based activities, postdocs work in pairs to complete a sample lab protocol. Instructors simply monitor the data as it accumulates, responding to problems as needed.

Educational Network Association Read Article in Spanish Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. As such, it is a stance that pervades all aspects of life and is essential to the way in which knowledge is created. Misconception Alert “Inquiry is not a “method” of doing science, history, or any other subject, in which the obligatory first stage in a fixed, linear sequence is that of students each formulating questions to investigate. Inquiry is a study into a worthy question, issue, problem or idea. There are several dimensions of inquiry: These are taken from the Inquiry Rubric Misconception Alert “Inquiry is not to be thought of in terms of isolated projects, undertaken occasionally on an individual basis as part of a traditional transmissionary pedagogy. There is a difference between Projects as conventionally understood in education circles and Project-based Learning that fosters inquiry. Reference (1) Wells, Gordon (2001).

Inquiry Learning In some ways trying to answer this question is like trying to answer the question "How long is a piece of string?" However it is a very important question for any school implementing Inquiry Learning as a school-wide approach to consider. Different people will have different ideas, and different 'experts' will all push their own theories and ideas. It would be foolish to think that I would be any different, so the following material comes with an 'Opinion Warning'. The ideas expressed here have been formed over seven years of working with schools as they implement Inquiry Learning. They are based on experience, but are still opinions and as such need to be weighed carefully in the light of your own experiences, knowledge and understanding, and compared to what others are also saying. I believe there are a number of aspects that are essential to be considered as you form your own answer to this question. Goals: Curriculum Integration: Developing Independent Learners: Resources: References

Design-Based Learning (DBL) to Innovate STEM Education | Stanford University School of Education IT Our earthquake curriculum project We developed an earthquake curriculum to conduct design-based pilot studies all over the globe from Ethiopia to California in 5th, 6th grade classes and a multi-grade classroom in El Salvador. Learning about earthquakes is urgent and propitious with the recent earthquake catastrophes in Haiti and Chile. It is crucial to raise awareness in our young learners that an earthquake in one continent can have ripple effect damages to other continents. Within the design challenge, students worked in teams of 4 members to design and build earthquake resistant structures using only index cards, tape, and paper clips through couple of iterations. Throughout our pilot studies, students were enthusiastic, focused, and actively collaborating with their peers. Although we have briefly introduced the use of mobile phones as a documentation tool, it will be integrated formally into an empirical study we will conduct this upcoming summer. Sub Project

Inquiry-based Learning: Exploration How do I assess students' progress? Student outcomes from an inquiry-learning experience should focus on: Thus, the focus of assessment of inquiry learning should be on the following: The degree to which the processing of learning skills has been developed. It is extremely important that there be feedback from students to the teacher regarding the degree to which the above objectives have been achieved. The feedback from the teacher to the learner is very important as well. Feedback shared with parents is very important in helping them understand the progress of their children and in making them more aware of the important and useful outcomes of inquiry learning. Effective inquiry teachers are constantly assessing students. Some teachers use one-on-one assessment of students following the end of a study unit or a learning activity. Individual assessment can reveal the student's perception of the following: How the student views her individual effort.

Replacing Faux Inquiry with the Real Thing Why should teachers nurture potent questioning skills and behaviors? As a practical matter, students need to be able to read between the lines, infer meaning, draw conclusions from disparate clues and avoid the traps of presumptive intelligence, bias and predisposition. They need these thinking skills to score well on increasingly tough school tests, but more importantly, they need these skills to score well on the increasingly baffling tests of life . . . how to vote? Drill and practice combined with highly scripted lessons stressing patterns and prescriptions amount to mental robbery - setting low standards for disadvantaged students so they end up incapable of thought or success on demanding tests. This approach contributes to high dropout and attrition rates - early school departures and millions of children left behind.

Inquiry-based Learning: Explanation What are the benefits of inquiry-based learning? One of the important missing pieces in many modern schools is a coherent and simplified process for increasing knowledge of a subject from lower grades to upper grades. Students often have difficulty understanding how various activities within a particular subject relate to each other. Much more confusion results when the learner tries to interrelate the various subjects taught at school. Too little effort is devoted to defining important outcomes at the end of high school and planning backwards and across subjects. Specific content such as photosynthesis has much more relevance for the learner if set in a larger context of understanding the interrelationship of the sun, green plants, and the role of carbon dioxide and water. Within a conceptual framework, inquiry learning and active learner involvement can lead to important outcomes in the classroom.

The Inquiry Page Based on John Dewey's philosophy that education begins with the curiosity of the learner, we use a spiral path of inquiry: asking questions, investigating solutions, creating new knowledge as we gather information, discussing our discoveries and experiences, and reflecting on our new-found knowledge. Each step in this process naturally leads to the next: inspiring new questions, investigations, and opportunities for authentic "teachable moments." Questions of Import Difference of Opinion Some questions matter more to some than others. Significance is defined to some extent by personal issues, tastes and interests. Several people looking at the image below might pose very different questions. Some might pose questions about media, media coverage and media literacy. Others might be intrigued by Michael himself and the drama surrounding his passing. Awakening a Sense of Import In some cases, young students may not recognize the import of an image, a poem or a set of numbers. The painting mentioned in the sample lesson above, "Four Boys on the Beach" by Winslow Homer, is a case in point. The boys' body language may be a matter of import but young students may not naturally fix their attention on how the boys are sitting. By definition, questions of import are intended to explore meanings. Making School and Learning Important

TWT: Inquiry-based Learning Strategy What is Inquiry-based learning? The old adage, “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand” describes the core of inquiry-based learning. Inquiry is the process of seeking truth, information, or knowledge by questioning. Questioning! The process of inquiring begins with gathering information and data through applying the human senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Inquiry-based learning processes vary. How does inquiry-based learning encourage student learning? Memorizing facts and information is not the most important skill in today’s world. What does inquiry-based learning look like in the classroom? The following example elaborates on the five steps listed above: questioning, planning and predicting, investigating, recording and reporting, and reflecting. Additional Information on the Five Steps for Inquiry-based Learning Questioning, Planning and Predicting, Investigating, Recording and Reporting, and Reflecting.