An old adage states: "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand." The last part of this statement is the essence of inquiry-based learning. . Inquiry is not so much seeking the right answer -- because often there is none -- but rather seeking appropriate resolutions to questions and issues.
Teacher centered compared to student centered. Perhaps a good way to summarize the important difference between traditional learning and inquiry learning is: Traditional learning focuses more on LEARNING ABOUT THINGS, while inquiry learning focuses more on LEARNING THINGS! Another useful way to contrast the two might be: Thinking WHAT as opposed to thinking HOW.
Unfortunately, our traditional educational system has worked in a way that discourages the natural process of inquiry. Students become less prone to ask questions as they move through the grade levels. In traditional schools, students learn not to ask too many questions, instead to listen and repeat the expected answers.
Students take more responsibility for.. Student centered rather than teacher centered.
Inquiry learning can turn information into useful knowledge. It stresses skill development and nurtures the development of good habits of mind.
INQUIRY BASED LEARNING (IBL)<br />
What is inquiry based learning?<br />Inquiry - is defined as a seeking for truth, information, or knowledge -- seeking information by questioning.<br /> Inquiry based learning is one of many terms used to describe educational approaches that are driven more by a learner’s questions than by a teacher’s lessons.<br />It implies involvement that leads to understanding. <br />
How does it differ from the traditional approach?<br />In general, the traditional approach to learning is focused on mastery of content, with less emphasis on the development of skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes while the inquiry approach is more focused on using and learning content as a means to develop information-processing and problem-solving skills. <br />
Useful application of inquiry learning involves several factors:<br /><ul><li>a context for questions
Assessing their progress in learning</li></li></ul><li>Advantages of inquiry based learning:<br /><ul><li>It is flexible and works well for projects that range from the extensive to the bounded, from the research oriented to creative, from the laboratory to the internet.
It validates the experience and knowledge that all kids bring to the learning process.
Students who have trouble in school because they do not respond well to lectures and memorization will blossom in an inquiry-based learning setting.</li></li></ul><li>Advantages of inquiry based learning:<br /><ul><li>It is well suited to collaborative learning environments and team projects.
The traditional approach tends to be very vertical while IBL is at it’s best when working on interdisciplinary projects that reinforce multiple skills or knowledge areas.</li></li></ul><li>Human society and individuals within society constantly generate and transmit the fund of knowledge.<br />
the essential elements of effective inquiry learning:<br />Experts see patterns and meanings not apparent to novices. <br />Experts have in-depth knowledge of their fields, structured so that it is most useful. <br />Experts' knowledge is not just a set of facts -- it is structured to be accessible, transferable, and applicable to a variety of situations. <br />Experts can easily retrieve their knowledge and learn new information in their fields with little effort. <br />
What does it have to do with my classroom?<br />The traditional focus of education is no longer appropriate. The world has changed: local apprenticeships are rare, and young people must master new ways of acting and thinking. Our society is becoming increasingly larger and more complexly diverse. Young people must develop an understanding for the complexities of modern life and be able to grapple with new ethical and practical issues. We must educate our young so they can participate as responsible members in contemporary society. They also need to be given the chance to grow and develop fulfilling personal identities in settings that are relatively free of risk. <br />