Inquiry-Based Learning Sarah Davis & Laura Oehler November 23, 2003 EDTC 654, Dr. Lauren Cifuentes
What is Inquiry? "Inquiry is the active pursuit of meaning involving thought processes that change experience to bits of knowledge. When we see a strange object, for example, we may be puzzled about what it is, what it is made of, what it is used for, how it came into being, and so forth. To find answers to questions such as these we might examine the object closely, subject it to certain tests, compare it with other, more familiar objects, or ask people about it, and for a time our searching would be aimed at finding out whether any of these theories made sense. Or we might simply cast about for information that would suggest new theories for us to test. All these activities---observing, theorizing, experimenting, theory testing---are part of inquiry. The purpose of the activity is to gather enough information to put together theories that will make new experiences less strange and more meaningful." (Suchman, 1968, p.1)
Where did Inquiry come from? • J. Richard Suchman (coined the term) “Inquiry is the way people learn when they're left alone." http://scied.gsu.edu/Hassard/mos/7.4.html • Dates as far back as Socrates and the Socratic Method. • John Dewey • Constructivism: people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html • Dewey's philosophy of education, instrumentalism (also called pragmatism), focused on learning-by-doing rather than rote learning and dogmatic instruction, the current practice of his day. http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/janicke/Dewey.html • Dewey called for education to be grounded in real experience. He wrote, "If you have doubts about how learning happens, engage in sustained inquiry: study, ponder, consider alternative possibilities and arrive at your belief grounded in evidence." Inquiry is a key part of constructivist learning. http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub4.html
Major Contributors (1 of 2) http://www.css.edu/depts/edu/EDU3500/researchproj_files/Web_pages/constructivism_inquiry2.html#Contrib
Major Contributors (2 of 2) http://www.css.edu/depts/edu/EDU3500/researchproj_files/Web_pages/constructivism_inquiry2.html#Contrib
Constructivism vs Inquiry • Constructivism • A theory about how people learn. • People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. • Encouraging students to use active techniques (experiments, problem solving) to create more knowledge, to reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. • Inquiry • Often used as a tool for constructivism. • A seeking for truth, information, or knowledge by questioning. • Emphasis on the development of inquiry skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes or habits of mind. • Implementing inquiry into the classroom involves a context for questions, a framework for questions, a focus for questions, and different levels of questions. http://www.css.edu/depts/edu/EDU3500/researchproj_files/Web_pages/constructivism_inquiry2.html
Project, Problem and Inquiry Based Learning • Project-based Learning An approach to learning focusing on developing a product or creation. The project may or may not be student-centered, problem-based, or inquiry-based. • Problem-based Learning An approach to learning focusing on the process of solving a problem and acquiring knowledge. The approach is also inquiry-based when students are active in creating the problem. • Inquiry-based Learning A student-centered, active learning approach focusing on questioning, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It's associated with the idea "involve me and I understand.“ • These all may be considered Constructivist Methods
Spiral Path of Inquiry http://www.inquiry.uiuc.edu/index.php
Discrepant Events — Example of Inquiry • Phenomena that seem to run contrary to what we normally expect. The outcomes or results are very different from what we might think would happen. • Examples: • Mechanical bird that drinks water. • Boiled egg that can squeeze inside a narrow neck bottle. • Ice sinking in clear liquid. • J. Richard Suchman (1962) developed the use of Discrepant Events as an inquiry technique for science teaching and learning. • Long been used by science educators to stimulate students' interest and motivation. • Human mind is intolerant of discrepancies. Observing something that does not fit with what one believes should be happening. Leaves the observer with a "wanting to know" feeling. • Student centered. Requires the students to ask questions in their search for answers. http://www.plu.edu/~vedrosr/discrepant.html
Suchman’s Inquiry Training Model • The teacher presents students with a puzzling situation or event. Students are allowed to ask the teacher questions that must be answered by a “yes” or “no”. The purpose of this phase is to verify the facts. • Students next gather information and verify the occurrence of the puzzling situation. • Students identify relevant variables, hypothesize and test causal relationships. • Next, the teacher asks students to organize the data and formulate an explanation for the puzzle. • Finally, students analyze their pattern of inquiry and propose improvements. How is the fortune put into a fortune cookie? http://www.pwcs.edu/curriculum/sol/suchman.htm
Students in Inquiry-Based Learning • Students view themselves as learners in the process of learning. • Students accept an "invitation to learn" and willingly engage in an exploration process. • Students raise questions, propose explanations, and use observations. • Students plan and carry out learning activities. • Students communicate using a variety of methods. • Students critique their learning practices. http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index_sub2.html
Teachers in Inquiry-Based Learning FACILITATOR OF LEARNING. • The teacher reflects on the purpose and makes plans for inquiry learning. • The teacher facilitates classroom learning. • Teacher models inquiry by asking leading questions. • The teacher allows for diversions from the intended goal… values what the students want to learn. http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index_sub2.html
What does this make you think of? In what ways are these different? In what ways are these the same? What materials did you use? What would happen if you ... What might you try instead? Tell me about your ...? What does it look like? What does it remind you of? What does it feel like? What can you do next time? What can you tell me about it? Tell me what happened. What could you do instead? Which one do you have more of? Is one object longer/shorter than another? What is it made of? What do you call the things you are using? What can you tell me about the things you have? Tell me what it looks like. How are you going to do that? What do you feel, see, hear, taste, smell? How did you do that? What will you do next after you finish that? Is there anything else you could do/use? How do you know? What are some different things you could try? Show me what you could do with it? Questions Teachers Might Ask
Strengths of Inquiry • Emphasis is put on understanding and learning, not on memorization. • Students have understanding of the larger concepts related to specific concepts. • Inquiry develops the mind for a lifetime quest of knowledge and understanding • Inquiry activities can be more engaging and interesting to students than “chalk and talk”. • Works with any age group so it can be applied in many different educational settings. • Builds off all experiences and knowledge that students bring to the classroom, no matter how diverse these may be.
Weaknesses of Inquiry • Enough specific topics may not be covered in a school year when only Inquiry is used. • Many students do not know how to ask questions so teachers first attempts at Inquiry may seem difficult or discouraging • Inquiry focuses on helping children ask questions. Therefore, instructors must learn the art of asking good questions.
Implications for Instructional Designers • When designing instruction, designers must take care to identify situations where active learning, constructivism and inquiry are appropriate. • Inquiry learning IS a structured environment and can be supported by various technologies and educational situations. • Inquiry based instruction should provide for appropriate amounts of exploration, inquiry and understanding by the learners. • Inquiry might be very appropriate in situations where learners like to find answers for themselves, not be fed a lot of facts.
Web-Resources • A professional development activity to show how inquiry learning differs from other types of hands-on activities: http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/activities/foam/foamtext.html • http://www.annettelamb.com/tap/topic43.htm • http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/inquirydesc.html • http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index.html • http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/approach/inquiry.asp • http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/ • http://www.plu.edu/~vedrosr/discrepant.html • http://www.inquiry.uiuc.edu/index.php • http://www.css.edu/depts/edu/EDU3500/researchproj_files/Web_pages/constructivism_inquiry2.html • http://scied.gsu.edu/Hassard/mos/7.4.html • http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html • http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/janicke/Dewey.html • http://www.pwcs.edu/curriculum/sol/suchman.htm
John Dewey Books • My Pedagogic Creed (1897) • The School and Society (1900) • Child and the Curriculum (1902) • Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (1916) • How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process (1933) • Experience and Education (1938)