Journal Entry #14, In Depth Understanding

http://www.edutopia.org/inquiry-project-learning-research

This article focusses on how Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) can promote more in depth understanding of concepts, lessons, ideas and more. This is because when IBL is implemented in the classroom students play a collaborative role in their own learning. They are required to take responsibility and initiative for their own learning which in turn may help to create a deeper understanding. Some of the main points bought up in the article stress that more in depth learning can take place when students are able to apply classroom knowledge to real world problems through participation in collaborative and engaging projects; active learning (collaboration, participation, engagement) plays a significant role in student performance and achievement; students are often more successful when they are taught “how to learn” and “what to learn”. All three of these ideas highlight how inquiry learning can benefit students.

Working with the first idea –  more in depth learning can take place when students are able to apply classroom knowledge to real world problems through participation in collaborative and engaging projects. This concept makes a lot of sense because the ability to apply classroom knowledge in the real world can create a new and more meaningful understanding of that knowledge. I think that the ability to create a connection between the classroom and the real world is invaluable. This sort of connection only enhances learning and I feel like it would make learning more exciting to know that what you are learning in class has a function in the real world. When children make these connections they often feel a sense of pride because it helps them better understand the world around them.

The second idea – active learning (collaboration, participation, engagement) plays a significant role in student performance. I feel like this idea is fairly straightforward. When students play an active role in their education they become more engaged in the learning process which in turn can have a positive influence on their performance. I believe that when students are required to only sit and listen they are likely not learning as much as they could. When this sort of lesson is transformed into an engaging lesson where students become involved in the lesson (i.e. role play, generating questions, generating discussion) they will likely feel more inclined to put effort into what they are learning. I think learning can be fun, especially when you are able to take part in your own education.

Finally, the third idea – students are often more successful when they are taught “how to learn” and “what to learn”. I really value this idea. All too often children are instructed instead of being taught. I think that is the difference, one must be taught how to learn. If we invest the time and effort to teach children how to learn they will learn so much more than if they were just instructed a+b=c. I think that being taught how to learn is much more valuable in the long run too. When children are taught how to learn I believe that they are able to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the ideas, concepts, skills, and lessons they are taught.

Inquiry learning encompasses all three of these ideas to create a more well rounded learning experience.

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