Inquiry-based learning is a fairly complex subject but one that has a simple premise: creating curiosity in a student to motivate them to engage with the learning process. This approach to teaching practices has proved to have a positive impact on the classroom and created an environment where children are more excited to learn and participate in lessons.
With Inquiry-based learning it is important to:
- find out what students already know
- find out what students want to know
- embark on a discovery phase in the learning process
- find out what students have learned
This approach to teaching has the effect of focusing on a student’s thinking, their questions and ideas, and their observations on a subject. So rather than asking children to remember facts and figures, and take notes in class, a teacher will encourage them to talk about the lesson and discuss it with their classmates.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.– Benjamin Franklin
Within the parameters of inquiry-based learning the teacher’s role is defined, not as a person that provides knowledge, but as an educator that helps students with the process of discovering knowledge. It has been scientifically acknowledged that inquiry-based teaching allows children to engage, discover, draw conclusions and report their findings, and has a positive effect on a child’s ability to reason and undertake problem solving.
To follow a general process for this teaching practice on any subject, a teacher will take the following steps:
- Find out what the students know about the subject in hand at the beginning
- Provide information on what the forthcoming lesson is going to be
- Get the learners to ask questions about the subject
- Make sure the students engage in conversation/activities on the subject
- Discover what the student has learnt about the subject
- Put in place a plan to revisit/expand on the initial lesson
Of great importance is that the teacher is very involved in this way of learning: it allows them to be more aware of what each child is thinking about each subject, and puts them in a position where they can adapt the curriculum accordingly, and if necessary.
In essence, inquiry-based learning is a natural way to learn about any new subject, it ensures students are more involved in their learning experience and it encourages them to be curious about the world.
St. Andrews International School, Green Valley
St. Andrews International School, Green Valley is an outstanding school for children of 2 – 18 years, that is focused on developing independent, confident, lifelong learners. With a professional staff of 60 exceptional teachers, from 14 different nationalities, the faculty is always striving for new learning, skills and techniques. Using inquiry-based teaching practices, the teachers at Green Valley consistently work with students to make new discoveries and form connections across disciplines via active, collaborative learning.
St. Andrews International School, Green Valley is also proud to be part of the global Cognita family of schools, a school network of around 70+ schools in eight countries for 40,000 students. Cognita is an extraordinary group of diverse yet connected schools joining forces in an inspiring world of education with one common purpose: building self-belief and empowering individuals to succeed.
Children must be taught how to think, not what to think– Margaret Mead
International Journal of Scientific Research and Management (IJSRM)