The readings and discussions this week helped me change my perspective and broaden my knowledge base about inquiry based learning and techniques as a whole. The underlying idea that it can be integrated easily into everyday classroom practices is an important idea I took away from the readings this week. One point that stuck out to me from the Teaching Channel video about inquiry based learned was the idea that it can really work across all grade-levels and skill-levels. One of the educators mentions that there are times where students don’t even talk to each other, or share any ideas with each other. When students can ask questions and share ideas, they learn from each other. In a lecture format, students get little to no time for this.
This week’s readings also helped me understand the process of inquiry based learning is fluid and ongoing. This graphic from the Teach Inquiry website was a great visual for me. I appreciated the “reflect” part of the infographic they use, because designated time to reflect upon teaching practices can be forgotten as a teacher. Thinking about students or lessons in the car on the way home, or running while running errands is fine–but designated time to reflect, take notes, and adjust teaching practices is really important.
This week’s readings about what inquiry based learning is and what it’s not also really helped shape my ideas and answer some questions I had about this type of instruction. Topic C’s reading mentioned that if a teacher already identifies students have grasped skills needed to complete a certain assignment, or they have mastered a standard, inquiry based learning isn’t abandoned and learning is complete. It can also be used in order to deeper understanding and enrich student understandings. With that being said, it showed inquiry based learning isn’t just for introducing topics or teaching specific lessons, it can be embedded and differentiated in order to meet a variety of teacher needs.
Teach inquiry. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://teachinquiry.com/about