Inquiry-Based Learning at Work


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Presented at the Learning at Work Seminar: Practical Responses to the Future Skills Challenge
National College of Ireland, 15 May, 2008

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  • Learning at Work
    The Inquiry Cycle –These are comments from the discussion following Chip Bruce’s and Leo Casey’s presentations at the Learning at Work Seminar at National College of Ireland 15th of may 2008

    Comments from Group Session

    • We need to think about the way we advertise courses and opportunities –perhaps tapping into people’s curiosity more.
    • How do we make people more aware, give them a voice?
    • Many of today’s engineered processes allow for no deviation from a fixed way of doing things –surely this does not support an inquiry cycle.
    • Consider the importance of informal learning much can be learned on the job, at breaks also, but is not always recognised.
    • The academic community needs to loosen up and allow for flexible forms of accreditation.
    • Innovation needs to be better understood as a concept, often it’s about making things simpler rather than more complicated.
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Inquiry-Based Learning at Work

  1. 1. INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING AT WORK Bertram (Chip) Bruce National College of Ireland U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Presented at the Learning at Work Seminar: Practical Responses to the Future Skills Challenge National College of Ireland, 15 May, 2008
  2. 2. 19TH-CENTURY LEARNING Solve well-defined problems Read one (printed) source Follow directions Work independently Rely on fixed procedures 2
  3. 3. WHO SAID? Innovations in transportation & communication Relaxation of social discipline & control Growing need for knowledge in all affairs of life Need for lifelong learning Transform learning & teaching
  4. 4. John Dewey, “The School as Social Centre,” 1902
  5. 5. 21ST-CENTURY CHALLENGE Find problems Integrate knowledge from multiple sources & media Think critically Collaborate Learn how to learn 5
  6. 6. People have to adapt to the work, habits, and values of the machines. People are generally regarded as the sources of problems, while devices are considered as means to solutions ...also eliminates the opportunities of developing those human skills that are fundamentally different from the skills of machines: abilities such as listening, interpreting, instructing, and working out to mutually acceptable accommodations. But it is the skills, more than anything else, that the global village needs. –Ursula Franklin
  7. 7. INQUIRY CYCLE Ask Reflect Investigate Discuss Create
  8. 8. INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING Questions: arising out of experience Materials: diverse, authentic, challenging; two-way Activities: engaging. hands-on, creating, collaborating, living new roles Dialogue: listening; articulating meaning Reflection: from concepts to action 8
  9. 9. ASK Teachers saw the enormous pedagogical difference between solving problems and formulating them, between answering someone else's question and generating your own. –Schwartz, Olds, & Willie, 1980
  10. 10. INVESTIGATE Blogs Internet radio Online video Mobile devices Web resources Simulations Digital libraries E-learning Social networking Virtual reality Second Life Ubiquitous computing
  11. 11. CREATE Constructing a third space at the computer in a first-grade classroom – Christine Wang
  12. 12. DISCUSS Water cooler learning privacy propinquity social designation –Anne-Laure Fayard & John Weeks, 2007
  13. 13. REFLECT 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 13
  14. 14. ENGINEERS novel situations lifelong multiple learning sources budgets, experiment marketing
  15. 15. ACTIVITY Think about your own workplace setting (or refer to the examples from this morning, the video cases, ...) You’re a consultant. What can you do to promote learning at work? How would you encourage: Ask – Investigate – Create – Discuss – Reflect? What would you say to workers? to management?
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