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Jill Bean's picture

teaching skills through inquiry or explicit means

I am struggling to balance the move our school has made towards explicitly teaching basic skills and the use of inquiry to learn those basic skills (applying inquiry to other content areas...). 

I think the example I gave in Brain and Behavior still applies.  The vast majority of children will not learn to read and write by simply interacting with letters, sounds, texts, and paper and pencil.  There is a small minority of children who do learn to read on their own, but most children need explicit instruction in decoding, blending, chunking, etc in order to construct understanding of the abstract symbols that are combined to form texts.  Perhaps time is the problem.  Are there people arguing that children could construct their own knowledge through an inquiry process if given more time? 

I think that inquiry can be used powerfully throughout all the subject matters, but I do think that there are some basic skills that need to be taught through direct and explicit instruction.  

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