This week I have really been researching different teaching/learning approaches to help my students learn that information that we have to teach, but they might not always be the most interested in. I have come across Inquiry-Based Learning, which is an approach that teachers can use to help aide students to learn how to learn. Now this sounds kind of confusing, but it means that us teachers essentially are there to give our students the resources and the tools, in order to learn how to learn on their own, and to get interested in learning!
What teacher’s can do to adapt this into their classroom is to first learn what your students are interested in, what makes them tick. This is an important component to any classroom that desires a safe and enriching environment. Help your student’s start the inquiry process, but connecting your curriculum topics to what they are interested in, and then ushering them to ask questions about the topic. How they feel about it, what more they want to know, and if things could be changed.
We call this questioning, taking in INTEREST in education. Then, the best way that I can explain this is to have you think back to your science classes in school. There was always a hypothesis, then finding the evidence or carrying out the experiment, supporting that evidence, and being able to explain and support all your reasoning. So essentially we are setting our student’s up to be scientists of their own education. Pretty cool right?
So when we are teaching inquiry based learning,the teachers role is to find fun ways to express the topic and explain it. Then have students write down their hypothesis, or their questions, this get’s them thinking critically and using that higher level learning ability that aides in memory and creativity. Let your student’s communicate their thoughts with one another, they can then build more ideas and information as a class unit.
Next your student’s should conduct a little research, this is where they can utilize their beloved technology, to find out more information or to answer their questions, this is the experimenting or finding evidence. Then you can help them present their ideas by giving them choices on how to share their findings, through a presentation, a poster or some other type of art, such as writing.
Inquiry based learning has seriously become a science proved way to better the education process. If you would like to check out some more information on the subject there is an awesome organization that teaches teachers how to teach inquiry based learning, by using inquiry based learning to teach teachers!! Check it out: What is IBL?
I also want to share with you some excellent teachers to follow on Twitter, as part of following and getting a bigger Personal Learning Network that we discussed last week. Here they are: