For the focus of my I-Search I have chosen to further research and investigate Inquiry Based Learning. I was first introduced to the idea of inquiry based learning in one of my other education classes and the idea has stuck with me since then. Now about a year later, the ideas, concepts and framework are a bit more clear and concrete but I still feel like I could learn more about inquiry based learning and the dynamics.
Here is where I attempt to summarize my understanding of inquiry based learning… so bear with me! In order for inquiry based learning to be facilitated and take place students need to become involved in their own learning and that this involvement eventually leads to understanding. I understand some of the key components of inquiry learning involve questions, discussion, and investigation. Inquiry learning is a process where students are encouraged to think creatively and use investigative skills to formulate their own answers and understanding, build new understanding and knowledge, and communicate their findings. Inquiry learning can be conducted in a number of ways ranging from discussion, role playing, group work, field trips, exploration, there are plenty of ways that inquiry learning can take place.
I think the reason I was initially attracted to inquiry learning is the opportunity for student involvement. Long before I had any idea of what inquiry based learning was I always thought it would be cool to have a classroom one day where collaboration was able to take place and where students could become involved in their own learning. I strongly believe that children should feel enabled to think creatively and that they should be encouraged to ask questions and seek answers. In my current work experience I am trying to find ways to incorporate inquiry based learning, I am off to a bit of a rough start but I am determined to continue on until I find that balance between instruction and involvement. And that there i believe is the key. Instruction can become redundant and stagnant but when instruction and involvement are paired and balanced i think that is where some of the most valuable learning takes place!
So, there you have it! This is my launching pad for my I-Search, above I have included a great animated video that breaks down different aspects of inquiry learning. I look forward to conducting more “research” about inquiry based learning and working out some of the kinks!