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Inquiry Based Learning

By: Carol King, FUSE Instructor


As the world that our children are growing up in is changing, the way they view and learn about it needs to change as well. Schools are tasked with continually adapting to best meet the needs of students. There are several modern ways to approach teaching and learning that help children become 21st century learners who collaborateand problem-solve, are digitally literate, and can think critically. One effective method used in many classrooms today is called Inquiry Based Learning.

What Is Inquiry Based Learning?

Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) is a way for students to learn through exploration and investigation. Students are presented with a question or problem,then are allowed the time and freedom to discuss with their peers, research information, and engage in hands-on activities. Students are required to base their discoveries on evidence and often delve into data to support their investigations. Communication of their findings is also an important part of the process. Whether by writing or presentation, students share what they’ve learned with their peers.

What Does It Look Like In The Classroom?

There are many ways to use IBL across all subject areas. In a science classroom, this might come in the form of creating a water filter out of recyclable materials or determining a correlation between genetics and certain diseases. Social Studies students may determine alternate ways that the American Revolution could have been handled or plan and design a functioning community. In reading class, students could explore characters in a novel, participate in in-depth character study discussion groups, determine how a character’s decision in a novel could have changed the outcome,  and then justify a character’s choices. These are just a few of the many applications of IBL in the classroom. By allowing students to investigate and collaborate, what they learn has depth and meaning.

The Benefits

There are several benefits to teaching students through inquiry based learning methods. Students are at the center of this process, therefore are often more engaged due to feeling ownership of their learning. This investigative approach challenges students’ thinking and places a priority on evidence, logic, and imagination. By sharing their outcome, students practice communicating using appropriate vocabulary and learning to justify their conclusions.

Why Is It Important?

Inquiry Based Learning is an engaging approach that keeps students excited and accountable for their academic experiences. This teaching style forces them to be creative thinkers and explorers who can support and justify their findings. It provides opportunities for students to gain 21st century skills and thought processes needed to be valuable members of our community and future workforce, as well as lifelong learners.

 

For more information about the Clarksville Academy FUSE program visit: https://clarksvilleacademy.com/academics/lower-school/fuse/

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