As we all know, that over the last decade, inquiry based learning has become pretty much impressive and is being used as a leading approach in the classrooms. Inquiry based learning is mainly getting involved through questions, which leads to understand. Inquiry in term is defined as a way of seeking information, knowledge, or truth through questioning. Mainly, inquiry is a way for a learner to acquire new information and data and turn it into useful knowledge. Every person starts the process of enquiry from its birth till its death, he or she gathers information and data and then passes it on the useful knowledge to its senses like smelling, tasting, touching, hearing, and seeing. Traditional way of teaching is more focused on making the students listening and repeating the expected answer to the teacher’s question rather than letting them inquire about the lesson plans. In this way of teaching, the teacher’s resources are limited. The main ingredients in the teacher’s worksheet are to teach about the technology rather than the application of the technology. Hence, when someone inquires about the applications related to the technology which is somewhat off track from the worksheet, the only reply the person gets is “We will get back to that later.” Moving towards the classroom applications of inquiry, it depends upon different factors, which are all equally important. Starting from levels of questions, the levels of the question in the classroom should be different so that each learner gets the useful knowledge easily. The second factor is that of the focus of the questions, the focus of the questions should be entirely on gaining knowledge about or related to the lesson. The third factor is the framework of a question which should be kept in mind while answering any question. The last factor is the context of questions, which should be easy enough for the learners to understand and gain useful knowledge by it.
More Information On Classroom Applications of Inquiry Learning
Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice – Concerned with approaches to action research that integrate action and reflection and collaboration; aims include helping practitioners develop skills of reflective practice and communities of inquiry.
Center for Inquiry- A school centered around inquiry.
Classroom Resources for Inquiry and Problem Solving- A great article by Terese Herrera and Kimberly S. Roempler, ENC Instructional Resources.
Education Resources (Action Research/Teacher as Researcher) – A good collection of links from McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning).
Framing Essential Questions- A framework for developing essential questions for student research.
If I Teach This Way, Am I Doing My Job?- An article by Debra Sprague and Christopher Dede.
inQuiry Attic- Inquiry based-lessons.
Iwonder: Inquiry-Based Learning and Teaching- Offers teaching tools, strategies, realities.
Questioning Toolkit- A comprehensive set of strategies for asking essential questions; gives examples of the types of questions students can ask.
Supporting a Study Programme- Using Repertory Grid interviewing, to measure the student’s knowledge and direct the student to the priority areas for learning, to accompany the student in the enrichment of their understanding, giving instant feedback on the growth in their comprehension.
The Socratic Method- Teaching by asking instead of by telling.
Supporting a Study Programme – Using Repertory Grid interviewing, to measure the student’s knowledge and direct the student to the priority areas for learning, to accompany the student in the enrichment of their understanding, giving instant feedback on the growth in their comprehension.
In reference to the factors, there are mainly four types of questions. One is inference questions. These types of questions are mainly asked by students who want to gain extra knowledge about a particular topic. Students are often shy to start questioning. Therefore, the best way to make a student ask these types of questions is to push them to find clues, examine them, and discuss them to justify the inferences of the topic. The second type of questions is the interpretation questions. These types of questions mainly force the students to understand the consequences of the ideas or information.
Moving further the third type of question is transfer questions, which make the students take their information to a new place, level, or stage. The fourth and the last type of question are the hypothesis questions. These questions are mainly based on what can be predicted and tested through thinking, which really matters irrespective of domain.
These are the best classroom applications of inquiry which neither involves the learner but also provides him a conceptual framework which leads to positive outcomes in the classroom. Those students who actively make observations, collect, analyze and synthesize the information and develop conclusions through the different classroom applications develop useful problem solving skills along with study skills.
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