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Inquiry Teaching and Learning

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1 Inquiry Teaching and Learning


3 21st-century challenge Find problems
Integrate knowledge from multiple sources and media Think critically Collaborate Learn how to learn

4 Inquiry-based learning
… in which people construct knowledge based on the questions that arise in their lived experience

5 Definition? … a philosophy of education which recognizes the diversity of learners and promotes the development of a critical, socially-engaged intelligence. It draws on a long history of theoretical and practical work, but takes on new meanings in an age of digital information and new communication technologies. It typically involves what John Dewey calls the primary interests of the learner: investigation--to find out about the world; communication--to enter into social relationships; construction--to create things and change the world; and expression or reflection--to extract meaning from experience.

6 Performing -> web design
Few people are ever taught to create successful, satisfying experiences for others. Mostly, those folks are in the performing arts: dancers, comedians, storytellers, singers, actors, etc. I now wish I had more training in theater and performing arts to rely on...especially improvisational theater. –interview with Nathan Shedroff, Vivid Studios (1997,

7 Stephen's questions Why do cars speed up passing a stop sign?
Why do things far away seem blue Why do my eyes water when I stare How does your body make tears Is salt in our tears the same as the salt we put on food What's that pipe from the silo to the barn?

8 Weather curriculum Jack Easley asks students to look up at a rainbow, but the children look down and ask: "Why do earthworms come out of the ground after it rains?"

9 Interests of the learner
Investigate: learn about the world through authentic engagement Create: make/change things in the world Communicate: enter the social world; learn through communication Express: reflect on experience –John Dewey, The School & Society, 1900

10 Inquiry cycle

11 Attitude to work and life
Science ... an attitude of eager, alert observations; a constant questioning of old procedure in light of new observations; a use of the world as well as of books Art ... an attitude of relish, of emotional drive, a genuine participation in some creative phase of work, and a sense that joy and beauty are legitimate possessions of all human beings, young and old ... imbuing teachers with an experimental, critical and ardent approach to their work. –Lucy Sprague Mitchell

12 Progressive education
The education of engaged citizens involves: –respect for diversity, meaning that each individual should be recognized for his or her own abilities, interests, ideas, needs, and cultural identity, and –the development of critical, socially engaged intelligence, which enables individuals to understand and participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good –John Dewey Project on Progressive Ed.

13 Reflection on experience
We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same in the future. This is the only preparation which in the long run amounts to anything. –John Dewey, Experience & Education


15 Inquiry-based learning
Questions: arising out of experience Materials: diverse, authentic, challenging Activities: engaging. hands-on, creating, collaborating, living new roles Dialogue: listening to others; articulating understandings Reflection: expressing experience; moving from new concepts into action




19 Teacher as inquirer Inquiry about the world Partner in inquiry
Modeling Guiding Inquiry about teaching and learning

20 Learning to teach - 1 As a guide for the experimentation we so freely encourage, the table opposite will be helpful. We must caution, however, that it is rife with half-truths--despite our best efforts at disclosure. We are dealing here with living things whose colors, habits, and general constitutions will vary with locale and with the skill of the individual gardener.

21 Learning to teach - 2 This unpredictability, which strikes terror into the heart of the beginner, is in fact one of the glories of gardening. Things change, certainly from year to year and sometimes from morning to evening. There are mysteries, surprises, and always, lessons to be learned. After almost 40 years hard at it, we are only beginning. –Amos Pettingill, The Garden Book, 1986

22 Inquiry in language learning
Berghoff, et al, Beyond reading and writing: Inquiry, curriculum, and multiple ways of knowing. Bruce & Easley, Emerging communities of practice: Collaboration and communication in action research. Short, et al, Learning together through inquiry: From Columbus to integrated curriculum. Wells & Chang-Wells, Constructing knowledge together: Classrooms as centers of inquiry and literacy

23 Inquiry in science learning
National Science Foundation: “research-validated models (e.g., extended inquiry, problem-solving)” Reinventing Undergraduate Education (Carnegie Foundation's Boyer Commission): “#1 Make research-based learning the standard” Project 2061 (American Association for the Advancement of Science): “#1 …science literacy for all high-school graduates”

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