Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ulearn12 - Breakout 1 - Understanding Inquiry Learning

Lyn Ross

Understanding Inquiry Learning

Inquiry process...
event occurs/interest sparked
research (information saturation)
real problem/focus (define direction; How can I/we...?)
brainstorm solutions
choose best solution
put into action

make inquiry learning explicit to your students - make sure they know they are doing inquiry

start of inquiry... event occurs which draws learners attention to something
could be...
- act of nature
- news story
- local issue
- event
- personal circumstances
- clever teaching!

process of inquiry
- ignite, investigate, explore (become a mini expert), this is longest part of inquiry
- wonder and ask (big question, key words, action questions)
- organise, apply (sort information, decide on resources and key steps)
- action (put plan into action)
reflection should happen constantly through whole process

Levels of Inquiry
Teacher directed inquiry - "co-create", teacher already "knows", most appropriate for levels and those learning inquiry process
Guided inquiry - students more in charge but with guidelines
Student driven inquiry - pure inquiry, students must have certain skills and strategies to work at this level

2 main truths
#1 Authentic Learning
if you're not doing inquiry properly, you're not doing it!!
must be relevant (How is it relevant?)
making a difference to someone, something or some place (outcome/action can be big or small)
should improve my life or understandings
#2 Leads to an outcome or social action

length not important!  inquiry might last a day... a week... 3 weeks, can do "mini-inquiries" under umbrella topic

important to use same model (same words) across whole school

as a staff, define each stage of inquiry
- what do you do in that stage?
- explicit skills to be taught
- possible reflective questions

from Rich Concept develop Learning Focus

variety is important - can't do 1 thing to death!!

encourage rich discussion through use of images/videos (works well in first stage of inquiry)

from BIG question you want to have 3-4 action questions
- keys to answering big questions
- "look-up-able" or "find-out-able" information

have a daily current events session (15 minute 'morning news board')
- developing awareness and interest
- must be robust/authentic
- make use of online newspapers/videos

Thinking Behaviours
- Blooms or Andersons Taxonomy
- Fogerty's Intellect
must have these for inquiry to work - graphic organisers, thinking maps etc. students must know how and when to use them effectively/appropriately
Display - Thinking Toolbox BUT must be hands on availability as well

create a learning wall - blank at start of inquiry, add learning as inquiry progresses

planning examples can be found here on Lyn's wiki

Lyn's ulearn12 presentation

Key Messages:
Big Question - How can I/we.....?
make inquiry learning explicit
must teach thinking skills and questioning skills
teacher directed inquiry is okay! (especially for juniors and when learning process/building skills)

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