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RecycleJack Marine's picture

Now Inquiry has more meaning

As I reflect on what we discussed in the past few weeks I think that inquiry has taken on a different twist. Especially I thought I was using inquiry based instruction for the past seven years, while I have taught science in elementary grades. But maybe it wasn't inquiry at all, maybe it was just teaching off the cuff, or taking what was written and giving it to students one way so they spit it back at you. Do they really think about what they are doing, or are they just following directions? (although at my school, many did not follow any directions)

No, I don't think I was using inquiry in the past several years. I followed a teacher guide and students completed scripted lessons. I think now that I have discovered this, and now that I understand what guided inquiry really means, maybe I can use some of this understanding in my next teaching job.

In order to facilitate inquiry based instruction, you have to start with a concept or an object, and ask students what they can say or think about it. That's the beginning, then when you have established some connection to that concept or object, then they can start an exploration either in discussion or in writing. When you've given enough time for a group or individual reflection, then they can begin a hands-on exploration via some materials or response sheets. That's what I think an Inquiry Process is.

 

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