What are the importance of inquiry and questioning in your discipline? How do/can you nurture student passion in your classroom?
Inquiry is very important to learning. As a 3rd grade teacher I have to find probing questions for all subject areas. I will admit that I am not consistent with this. Math is the best and easiest time for me to do the questioning. Questioning in math for me is a lot of “why?” why did you round up or down? Why did you add that digit to the next place? I want them to be able to explain it in hopes that it will then make more sense to them and hopefully stick. As I type this I am thinking about how to add a “I wonder” section to the math journal. Maybe do a recap of the week and have them do an “I wonder” writing.
“Inquiry honors the complex, interconnected nature of knowledge construction, striving to provide opportunities for both teachers and students to collaboratively build, test and reflect on their learning.” (Stephenson, 2013). If I can get young students to reflect on what they learn in 3rd grade some of the ground work has been created for the upper levels. Right now this process has been more difficult than I thought. I ask them questions that make them responsible for holding on to what they heard and learned but so far the retention is not there. I am hoping some of the listening comprehension skills we are working on in class will also contribute to this process. I ask them why they do certain processes all the time I know they know the answers but struggle to verbalize. Most look at me like it is a trick question.
When I read this EQ I thought about the curriculums of international schools I have been researching for possible future employment. I started to look up several inquiry based curriculums and found a lot of great information from how to begin in a very explicit manner to descriptions of the types of inquiry based learning. Ass we know students all learn differently and different areas have different needs. So after reading all the information I would like to be able to use some of it in my classroom I started to think about my students and their needs and how that relates to what type of inquiry based learning might be best for my students. I came to a conclusion but then thought about our classroom collaboration and how it is better with different perspectives so I pose this question.
What type of inquiry based learning do you think would be best for the students described below and why?
1-2 years below grade level, very little background knowledge, requires a very scaffolded learning process with much practice, limited retention or practice outside of school with new skills.
Would you chose:
- Problem-based learning; learning that starts with an ill-structured problem or case-study.
- Project-based learning; students create a project or presentation as a demonstration of their understanding.
- Design-based learning: learning through the working design of a solution to a complex problem.
I have an idea of what I would use of the three but I would like some input and ideas for a new perspective.
International Bacclaureate Organization, (2013) The IB Primary years Programme.
Retrieved from www.ibo.org/pyp/
Stephenson, N. (2013). Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning. Retrieved from
The Inquiry Curriculum. (2013) Inquiry Curriculum. Retrieved from.