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Inquiry-Based Learning

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Presentation on theme: "Inquiry-Based Learning"— Presentation transcript:

1 Inquiry-Based Learning
Sarah Davis & Laura Oehler November 23, 2003 EDTC 654, Dr. Lauren Cifuentes

2 What is Inquiry? "Inquiry is the active pursuit of meaning involving thought processes that change experience to bits of knowledge. When we see a strange object, for example, we may be puzzled about what it is, what it is made of, what it is used for, how it came into being, and so forth. To find answers to questions such as these we might examine the object closely, subject it to certain tests, compare it with other, more familiar objects, or ask people about it, and for a time our searching would be aimed at finding out whether any of these theories made sense. Or we might simply cast about for information that would suggest new theories for us to test. All these activities---observing, theorizing, experimenting, theory testing---are part of inquiry. The purpose of the activity is to gather enough information to put together theories that will make new experiences less strange and more meaningful." (Suchman, 1968, p.1)

3 Where did Inquiry come from?
J. Richard Suchman (coined the term) “Inquiry is the way people learn when they're left alone." Dates as far back as Socrates and the Socratic Method. John Dewey Constructivism: people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. Dewey's philosophy of education, instrumentalism (also called pragmatism), focused on learning-by-doing rather than rote learning and dogmatic instruction, the current practice of his day. Dewey called for education to be grounded in real experience. He wrote, "If you have doubts about how learning happens, engage in sustained inquiry: study, ponder, consider alternative possibilities and arrive at your belief grounded in evidence." Inquiry is a key part of constructivist learning.

4 Major Contributors (1 of 2)

5 Major Contributors (2 of 2)

6 Constructivism vs Inquiry
A theory about how people learn. People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. Encouraging students to use active techniques (experiments, problem solving) to create more knowledge, to reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. Inquiry Often used as a tool for constructivism. A seeking for truth, information, or knowledge by questioning. Emphasis on the development of inquiry skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes or habits of mind. Implementing inquiry into the classroom involves a context for questions, a framework for questions, a focus for questions, and different levels of questions.

7 Project, Problem and Inquiry Based Learning
Project-based Learning  An approach to learning focusing on developing a product or creation. The project may or may not be student-centered, problem-based, or inquiry-based. Problem-based Learning An approach to learning focusing on the process of solving a problem and acquiring knowledge. The approach is also inquiry-based when students are active in creating the problem. Inquiry-based Learning A student-centered, active learning approach focusing on questioning, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It's associated with the idea "involve me and I understand.“ These all may be considered Constructivist Methods A

8 Spiral Path of Inquiry
asking questions, investigating solutions, creating new knowledge as we gather information, discussing our discoveries and experiences, and reflecting on our new-found knowledge.

9 Discrepant Events — Example of Inquiry
Phenomena that seem to run contrary to what we normally expect. The outcomes or results are very different from what we might think would happen. Examples: Mechanical bird that drinks water. Boiled egg that can squeeze inside a narrow neck bottle. Ice sinking in clear liquid. J. Richard Suchman (1962) developed the use of Discrepant Events as an inquiry technique for science teaching and learning. Long been used by science educators to stimulate students' interest and motivation. Human mind is intolerant of discrepancies. Observing something that does not fit with what one believes should be happening. Leaves the observer with a "wanting to know" feeling. Student centered. Requires the students to ask questions in their search for answers. Stand with your heels against the wall and your feet together. Place a dollar bill about a foot in front of your feet. You cannot pick up the dollar without moving your feet or bending your knees. WHY? Keep your heels, hips and shoulders against the wall. Without leaning forward try to jump. Try to lift your foot off the floor. You cannot do either. WHY? Sit in a straight-backed chair. Keep your back against the back of the chair and put your feet flat on the floor. fold your arms across your chest. Now, keep your feet flat and your back straight and try to stand up. You cannot. WHY? Stand facing the edge of an open door. Your nose and stomach should just touch it. Place your feet on either side of the door slightly forward of the edge. Now try to rise onto your tiptoes. You can't do it. WHY? Place a wooden match across the back of your middle finger and under the first and third fingers at the joint nearest the fingertips. Try to break the match by pressing up with the middle finger and down with the two others. Try pressing down with the middle finger and up with the other two. (Don't let the thumb and little finger help out. That's considered cheating!) You can't break the match. WHY? Spin two eggs - one raw and the other one boiled. You can tell which is raw and which is boiled. WHY? Put two straws in your mouth. Stick the free end of one in a glass of soda. Keep the second straw outside the glass. Now try to drink the soda through the straw. Don't cheat by putting your tongue over the end of the straw that is outside of the glass or to cover this straw with your finger. You can't drink the soda. WHY? Lay two or three sheets of full-sized newspaper (not the tabloid size) on a table. Choose a smooth-surfaced table, not one with a table cloth. Position the paper so that the long edge runs along the edge of the table. Put a wooden yardstick or ruler under the newspaper so that half of it sticks out over the edge of the table. Smooth the papers flat. Now try to flip the newspaper two feet into the air by striking the ruler with a single, quick blow. Make sure the blow is quick. You can't do it. Put on safety goggles, just in case. WHY? Take a crisp new dollar bill and hold it about chest high. Put your hand at about the middle of the bill with thumb and index finger about an inch apart - but not touching the bill. Without warning, let go of the bill and see if you can catch it before it passes through your fingers. You can't do it. WHY? The Cartesian Diver goes down in the water when you squeeze the bottle and goes up when you release the bottle. WHY? Suspend a weight from a rubber band. Put a lighted match near the rubber band. The weight rises. WHY? The toy drinking bird with a liquid inside of it will continuously drink from a glass of water once it begins. WHY? The ratio of your height compared to the circumference of your head is about the same as everyone else's. WHY? Blow up a balloon about 1/3 of the way. While holding the balloon in your mouth, place a plastic cup on each side of the balloon. Continue to inflate the balloon until it is twice its size. When you remove your hands from the cups they stick to the balloon. WHY? Place a marble on a table and cover it with a glass jar. You can pick up the marble without touching it. WHY? A cork placed in a glass that is completely filled with water will always move to the center of the glass. WHY? Put some vaseline around the neck of a narrow-necked baby bottle. Take a peeled boiled egg and after dropping a lit match into the bottle, quickly put the egg on top of the bottle. The big egg will squeeze into the bottle. WHY?

10 Suchman’s Inquiry Training Model
The teacher presents students with a puzzling situation or event.  Students are allowed to ask the teacher questions that must be answered by a “yes” or “no”. The purpose of this phase is to verify the facts. Students next gather information and verify the occurrence of the puzzling situation.   Students identify relevant variables, hypothesize and test causal relationships. Next, the teacher asks students to organize the data and formulate an explanation for the puzzle. Finally, students analyze their pattern of inquiry and propose improvements. How is the fortune put into a fortune cookie?

11 Students in Inquiry-Based Learning
Students view themselves as learners in the process of learning.  Students accept an "invitation to learn" and willingly engage in an exploration process.  Students raise questions, propose explanations, and use observations.  Students plan and carry out learning activities.  Students communicate using a variety of methods.  Students critique their learning practices.  Students view themselves as learners in the process of learning.  They look forward to learning. They demonstrate a desire to learn more. They seek to collaborate and work cooperatively with teacher and peers. They are more confident in learning, demonstrate a willingness to modify ideas and take calculated risks, and display appropriate skepticism. Students accept an "invitation to learn" and willingly engage in an exploration process.  They exhibit curiosity and ponder observations. They move around, selecting and using the materials they need. They confer with classmates and teacher about observations and questions. They try out some of their own ideas. Students raise questions, propose explanations, and use observations.  They ask questions (verbally and through actions). They use questions that lead them to activities generating further questions or ideas. They observe critically, as opposed to casually looking or listening. They value and apply questions as an important part of learning. They make connections to previous ideas. Students plan and carry out learning activities.  They design ways to try out their ideas, not always expecting to be told what to do. They plan ways to verify, extend, confirm, or discard ideas. They carry out activities by: using materials, observing, evaluating, and recording information. They sort out information and decide what is important. They see detail, detect sequences and events, notice change, and detect differences and similarities. Students communicate using a variety of methods.  They express ideas in a variety of ways, including journals, drawing, reports, graphing, and so forth. They listen, speak, and write about learning activities with parents, teacher, and peers. They use the language of learning, apply the skills of processing information, and develop their own "ground rules" appropriate for the discipline. Students critique their learning practices.  They use indicators to assess their own work. They recognize and report their strengths and weaknesses. They reflect on their learning with their teacher and their peers.

12 Teachers in Inquiry-Based Learning
FACILITATOR OF LEARNING. The teacher reflects on the purpose and makes plans for inquiry learning.  The teacher facilitates classroom learning. Teacher models inquiry by asking leading questions. The teacher allows for diversions from the intended goal… values what the students want to learn. The teacher reflects on the purpose and makes plans for inquiry learning.  He plans ways for each learner to be actively engaged in the learning process. She understands the necessary skills, knowledge, and habits of mind needed for inquiry learning. He understands and plans ways to encourage and enable the learner to take increasing responsibility for his learning. She insures that classroom learning is focused on relevant and applicable outcomes. He is prepared for unexpected questions or suggestions from the learner. She prepares the classroom environment with the necessary learning tools, materials, and resources for active involvement of the learner. The teacher facilitates classroom learning.  The teacher's daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly facilitation plans focus on setting content learning in a conceptual framework. They also stress skill development and model and nurture the development of habits of mind. She accepts that teaching is also a learning process. He asks questions, encouraging divergent thinking that leads to more questions. She values and encourages responses and, when these responses convey misconceptions, effectively explores the causes and appropriately guides the learner. He is constantly alert to learning obstacles and guides learners when necessary. She asks many Why? How do you know? and What is the evidence? type of questions. He makes student assessment an ongoing part of the facilitation of the learning process.

13 Questions Teachers Might Ask
What does this make you think of? In what ways are these different? In what ways are these the same? What materials did you use? What would happen if you ... What might you try instead? Tell me about your ...? What does it look like? What does it remind you of? What does it feel like? What can you do next time? What can you tell me about it? Tell me what happened. What could you do instead? Which one do you have more of? Is one object longer/shorter than another? What is it made of? What do you call the things you are using? What can you tell me about the things you have? Tell me what it looks like. How are you going to do that? What do you feel, see, hear, taste, smell? How did you do that? What will you do next after you finish that? Is there anything else you could do/use? How do you know? What are some different things you could try? Show me what you could do with it?

14 Strengths of Inquiry Emphasis is put on understanding and learning, not on memorization. Students have understanding of the larger concepts related to specific concepts. Inquiry develops the mind for a lifetime quest of knowledge and understanding Inquiry activities can be more engaging and interesting to students than “chalk and talk”. Works with any age group so it can be applied in many different educational settings. Builds off all experiences and knowledge that students bring to the classroom, no matter how diverse these may be.

15 Weaknesses of Inquiry Enough specific topics may not be covered in a school year when only Inquiry is used. Many students do not know how to ask questions so teachers first attempts at Inquiry may seem difficult or discouraging Inquiry focuses on helping children ask questions. Therefore, instructors must learn the art of asking good questions. In schools were standards and standardized testing run the show, Inquiry may In standardized testing schools, inquiry might not cover all the specific topics that need to be covered. Because students form broader understandings and learn the why’s and how’s, the detailed information needed to meet all the specific standards might be lost.

16 Implications for Instructional Designers
When designing instruction, designers must take care to identify situations where active learning, constructivism and inquiry are appropriate. Inquiry learning IS a structured environment and can be supported by various technologies and educational situations. Inquiry based instruction should provide for appropriate amounts of exploration, inquiry and understanding by the learners. Inquiry might be very appropriate in situations where learners like to find answers for themselves, not be fed a lot of facts.

17 Research Question

18 Web-Resources A professional development activity to show how inquiry learning differs from other types of hands-on activities:

19 John Dewey Books My Pedagogic Creed (1897)
The School and Society (1900) Child and the Curriculum (1902) Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (1916) How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process (1933) Experience and Education (1938)

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