So, how as learners, do we build on our curiosity and transfer it to sustained inquiry that is engaging, meets our personal interests and honours the demands of the curriculum and is assessable?
Here are some points I always consider when supporting students on their journey from sparking curiosity to sustained inquiry based learning:
* Getting it started……
Make ideas the “central currency” of the classroom
Model classroom norms of respectful discussion
Build on spontaneous questions that cause students to wonder and to ask further questions
Connect student questions and ideas to the big ideas of the curriculum
* Keeping it going……
Engage students in knowledge-building by having them frequently share their thinking
Teach timely, direct mini-lessons when you see that students need to know certain pieces of information and have certain skills to move forward
Continually assess what’s happening in the inquiry to make judgements about when and when not to intervene
* Reflecting on learning……
Explicitly teach what metacognition or reflective thinking is – talk about how learning deepens when we plan for it, analyse it and monitor our progress
Have students reflect on how they are progressing, how they are dealing with problems and how they are coming to new understandings
Ontario Secretariat- Student Achievement Division (2013), Inquiry Based Learning- Capacity Building Series, Special Edition #32
* How does reflection honour our commitment to the Art and Science of Teaching?
When we reflect, we always revisit our learning goals. Did we achieve our learning goal(s)? How do we know? What do we know now that we didn’t know at the beginning of our inquiry? What route did we take to get here? Would we take the same route next time?
Below is a picture, taken in the Hub this week – students questioning each other, brainstorming and creating new understandings.
Learning Hub Manager