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What is inquiry education?

Paul Grobstein's picture

Minisymposium 2007 on K-16 Collaborations



What is inquiry education?

Small group reports



Group 1.

Inquiry learning is learning directed bystudents interests and questions in which the teacher is a guide and the students share knowledge with one another. This raises some questions for us. If we're all starting with student interests, how do we deal with the pressure to cover a breadth of topics? If students aren't interested in a topic - like history or bmc math - do they still need to learn it? The paradox: its student-driven and student-centered, but that alone doesn't mean there's inquiry. Another problem: how do you manage the inquiries of multiple students?

Group 2.

In a classroom, inquiry based education is question based learning. It starts with experiences and observations from which students make connections. This happens through teacher guidance and non-scripted collaboration. Its not always comfortable and the outcome is not always known by students and/or teachers.

Group 3.

  • Learners share authority for what is learned.
  • Students are involved with plaing and assesment.
  • Teachers help to prolem-solve.
  • Would you know it if you saw it?
  • What should structure inquiry?
  • Is every hands-on activity inquiry?
  • Not having the right, permanent answer.
  • A story, subject to change.
  • Not necessarily classroom-based, expands the classroom.
  • Inquiry is a partnership among teachers and students - all are learners.
  • Goal is to make students comfortable with science.

Group 4.

Inquiry education (reminiscent of the scientific method) is an
attitude, one you must choose continually. It is the establishment of
an environment in which students can collaborate, explore, make
choices and follow their curiosity. It accommodates diverse learning
styles, allowing students to work in the way that works best for them.
Students work in a cooperative environment and develop mutual respect
for each other and the learning process in all content areas.





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