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What’s happening at your place?

Started by Mike Perry 27 Feb 2017 8:58am () Replies (1)

I’ve noticed there hasn’t been much discussion in this corner of the VLN for some time,and it’s prompted me to do some pondering. As we get underway with a new year perhaps we can share some thinking about this potentially powerful approach to teaching and learning.

‘Inquiry learning’ sounds as though it should tick a whole lot of boxes when it comes to the NZC challenge to help students  .…

  • value ‘innovation, inquiry, and curiosity’ (Values)
  • develop ‘Intellectual curiosity’, ‘make decisions, shape actions’, and become ‘problem-solvers’ who ‘actively seek, use, and create knowledge’ (Thinking KC)
  • ‘confidently use ICT to access and provide information’ (Using language, symbols, and texts KC)
  • ‘establish personal goals, make plans, manage projects’ (Managing self KC)
  • ‘come up with new approaches, ideas, and ways of thinking’ (Relating to others KC)
  • become ‘actively involved in communities’ (Participating and contributing KC)

Becoming ‘active seekers, users, and creators of knowledge’, seems to me to be central to what it means to be a ‘lifelong learner’. (Vision)

So … what’s going at your place?
What does ‘inquiry learning’ look like in your practice; in your school?
Is ‘inquiry learning’ necessarily ‘integrated’, or does it have value within a curriculum area/subject? Secondary teachers, what’s your experience here?
Is student ‘inquiry’ necessarily a collaborative learning activity, or, in your experience, can students carry out an inquiry independently?

Research suggests that students need a lot of clear scaffolding when it comes to inquiry learning. The ERO Evaluation Indicators (Domain 4) make it very clear that teachers need to provide students with ‘explicit instruction in learning strategies (such as goal setting, self-monitoring and deliberate practice) that enable them to take control of their learning, develop meta-cognitive skills, self-regulate, and develop self-efficacy and agency’.

So …. how do you go about scaffolding students’ inquiry learning?

And on another matter, are teachers still confusing ‘Inquiry learning’ with ‘teaching as inquiry’? If so, how do we deal with that?

Lots to ponder, what do you think?

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