Thanks for posting your honest self-reflection, in which you wondered if/where the inquiry has gone.
“… I didn’t know if I wasn’t thinking inquiry because I haven’t been doing any inquiry with my students or because inquiry is so well integrated that I just don’t think about it. So that’s the topic of my first post on Inquire Within after two years of not posting.”
My role includes facilitating collaborative planning with teams of teachers for units of inquiry, which sometimes include science. I like to think I know a bit about inquiry, but I admit I don’t know much about science. I’d love some ideas for weaving science through other areas of learning.
So I propose we do a trade – I’ll make some suggestions about inquiry and, in return, you can share some possibilities for science.
I’ll start off right here, in full view, so that others can weigh in too. You can respond publicly or privately… either way it can be a collaborative inquiry of mutual benefit!
Let’s revisit what inquiry learning might look like. There are many different versions and perspectives on Inquire Within and I’m sure others will add their contributions.
Here’s a description of inquiry as I see it, with some of the key characteristics borrowed from the IB Primary Years Program handbook.
Inquiry encourages students to be actively involved in and to take responsibility for their own learning. Inquiry learning allows each student’s understanding of the world to develop in a manner and at a rate unique to that student. The starting point is students’ current understanding, and the goal is the active construction of meaning through:
- exploring, wondering and questioning
- experimenting and playing with possibilities
- making connections between previous learning and current learning
- making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
- collecting data and reporting findings
- clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
- deepening understanding through the application of a concept
- making and testing theories
- researching and seeking information
- taking and defending a position
- solving problems in a variety of ways. (Making the PYP Happen)
I have a few questions for you to think about…
1. Do you think the learning in your science classes includes some of the elements mentioned above?
2. Have you considered beginning a new unit with a hook or provocation to stimulate curiosity, rather than introducing the topic yourself?
3. Are you willing to shift from ‘delivering curriculum’ and, rather than covering, provide opportunities for discovering and uncovering by the learners?
4. Can you think of ways you might use the model below? (Or rather, ways the learners might use it…)
Scientific Inquiry Cycle by Elizabeth Solomon