What is Inquiry? • Driven by learner’s questions, not teacher lessons • Learning is constructivist. We construct meaning by revising, extending and building on prior knowledge and experience • Students learn how to learn by developing necessary skills needed to find answers to their questions
Teachers…. • Provide opportunities for students to have ownership of the curriculum and learning processes • Facilitate, coach, guide and assist • Are not the font of knowledge. Knowledge is out there; teachers help students discover it
First Step • Define what you want students to learn • Create a concept driven central idea and lines of inquiry • Formulate guiding questions in order to encourage students to ask their own questions • Create learner relevance, significance, interest and enthusiasm • Provoke interest and analyze student prior learning
First Step • Formally collect data around prior knowledge • KWL • Jigsaw activities • Writing
Give students opportunities to: • Explore the topic before generating questions. • Brainstorm possible questions, ideas and issues - either in groups or individually. • Use concept mapping software (such as Inspiration) or mind maps, topic webs to record ideas • Use KWL chart to develop questions. Student chart existing knowledge and list as many questions as possible. • .
Who Cares Test - Moving Beyond Simple Information Gathering to Higher-Level Questioning 1. How is ________ related to _____? 2. What is a new example of ________? 3. What are some possible solutions for the problem of __________? 4. Explain why __________. 5. What do you think would happen if ____________? 6. Why is __________important?
Example • Is it ethical to use animals to test cosmetic products? Next, brainstorm other possible questions that may be derived from your initial question. • What type of animals are typically used to test cosmetics? • How many animals a year are used? • What are alternatives to animal testing? • What are some arguments for and against using animals to test cosmetics?
Types of Questions “Google-able” Inquiry Questions Should scientists genetically engineer organisms? Should the American government have dropped a bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is nuclear power the best solution for New Zealand’s future energy needs? How is Romeo and Juliet relevant to understanding people and/or society today? • How do scientists genetically engineer organisms? Should scientists genetically engineer organisms? • Why did the American government drop a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? • How does a nuclear power station work? • What happens in Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”?
Narrowing Your Focus • Now that you have brainstormed some ideas, what is your final choice of a topic? • What is the inquiry question you will use to explore this topic? • To ensure you have a powerful inquiry question, use the following criteria: • Is my question relevant in some way to my life now and in the future? • Does my question have the potential to explore big ideas and/or concepts about the world? • Is an understanding of this question valuable and useful in the world beyond school? • Does this question have the potential to engage and interest me? • Google test your question: Type it into Google. Do all the links give a similar answer?