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Specific learning processes that people engage in during inquiry-learning include: [14] [15]. Inquiry learning involves developing questions, making observations, doing research to find out what information is already recorded, developing methods for experiments, developing instruments for data collection, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, outlining possible explanations and creating predictions for future study.

There are many different explanations for inquiry teaching and learning and the various levels of inquiry that can exist within those contexts.

Level 1 : Confirmation Inquiry The teacher has taught a particular science theme or topic. The teacher then develops questions and a procedure that guides students through an activity where the results are already known. This method is great to reinforce concepts taught and to introduce students into learning to follow procedures, collect and record data correctly and to confirm and deepen understandings.

Level 2 : Structured Inquiry The teacher provides the initial question and an outline of the procedure. Students are to formulate explanations of their findings through evaluating and analyzing the data that they collect. Level 3 : Guided Inquiry The teacher provides only the research question for the students. The students are responsible for designing and following their own procedures to test that question and then communicate their results and findings. This type of inquiry is often seen in science fair contexts where students drive their own investigative questions.

Banchi and Bell explain that teachers should begin their inquiry instruction at the lower levels and work their way to open inquiry in order to effectively develop students' inquiry skills. Open inquiry activities are only successful if students are motivated by intrinsic interests and if they are equipped with the skills to conduct their own research study.

An important aspect of inquiry-based learning is the use of open learning, as evidence suggests that only utilizing lower level inquiry is not enough to develop critical and scientific thinking to the full potential. There is an emphasis on the individual manipulating information and creating meaning from a set of given materials or circumstances.

Open learning has many benefits. With traditional non-open lessons there is a tendency for students to say that the experiment 'went wrong' when they collect results contrary to what they are told to expect. In open learning there are no wrong results, and students have to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the results they collect themselves and decide their value. Open learning has been developed by a number of science educators including the American John Dewey and the German Martin Wagenschein.

He emphasized that students should not be taught bald facts, but should understand and explain what they are learning. His most famous example of this was when he asked physics students to tell him what the speed of a falling object was. Nearly all students would produce an equation, but no students could explain what this equation meant.

Sociologist of education Phillip Brown defined inquisitive learning as learning that is intrinsically motivated e. Inquiry learning has been used as a teaching and learning tool for thousands of years, however, the use of inquiry within public education has a much briefer history. It was not until the Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, during the late 17th and 18th century that the subject of Science was considered a respectable academic body of knowledge.

John Dewey, a well-known philosopher of education at the beginning of the 20th century, was the first to criticize the fact that science education was not taught in a way to develop young scientific thinkers.


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Dewey proposed that science should be taught as a process and way of thinking — not as a subject with facts to be memorized. Joseph Schwab was an educator who proposed that science did not need to be a process for identifying stable truths about the world that we live in, but rather science could be a flexible and multi-directional inquiry driven process of thinking and learning. Schwab believed that science in the classroom should more closely reflect the work of practicing scientists. Schwab developed three levels of open inquiry that align with the breakdown of inquiry processes that we see today.

Today, we know that students at all levels of education can successfully experience and develop deeper level thinking skills through scientific inquiry. This historical scientific breakthrough caused a great deal of concern around the science and technology education the American students were receiving.

In the U. The College, Career, and Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards was a joint collaboration among states and social studies organizations, including the National Council for the Social Studies, [33] designed to focus social studies education on the practice of inquiry, emphasizing "the disciplinary concepts and practices that support students as they develop the capacity to know, analyze, explain, and argue about interdisciplinary challenges in our social world.

Students might formulate their own questions or begin with an essential question such as "Why are men and women expected to follow different codes of etiquette? They analyze primary source documents such as books of etiquette from different time periods and form conclusions that answer the inquiry questions. Students finally communicate their conclusions in formal essays or creative projects.

Principles of Effective Change: Curriculum Revision That Works

They may also take action by recommending solutions for improving school climate. Robert Bain in How Students Learn described a similar approach called "problematizing history". Next, a question and primary sources are provided, such as eyewitness historical accounts. The task for inquiry is to create an interpretation of history that will answer the central question. Students will form a hypothesis, collect and consider information and revisit their hypothesis as they evaluate their data. After Charles Pascal's report in , the Canadian province of Ontario 's Ministry of Education decided to implement a full day kindergarten program that focuses on inquiry and play-based learning, called The Early Learning Kindergarten Program.

The curriculum document [37] outlines the philosophy, definitions, process and core learning concepts for the program. Bronfenbrenner's ecological model, Vygotsky's zone of proximal development, Piaget's child development theory and Dewey's experiential learning are the heart of the program's design. As research shows, children learn best through play, whether it is independently or in a group.

Three forms of play are noted in the curriculum document, pretend or "pretense" play, socio-dramatic play and constructive play.

Why should assessments, learning objectives, and instructional strategies be aligned?

A chart on page 15 clearly outlines the process of inquiry for young children, including initial engagement, exploration, investigation, and communication. For further details, please see the curriculum document. Since the program is extremely new, there is limited research on its success and areas of improvement.

One government research report was released with the initial groups of children in the new kindergarten program. The Final Report: Evaluation of the Implementation of the Ontario Full-Day Early-Learning Kindergarten Program from Vanderlee, Youmans, Peters, and Eastabrook conclude with primary research that high-need children improved more compared to children who did not attend Ontario's new kindergarten program.

Since Dutch children have the opportunity of inquiry learning to read. The program is from the Dutch developmental psychologist dr. As we will see soon, an English version is feasible. OLL's main characteristic is that it is for children who are reading mature. Reading maturity is assessed with the Reading Maturity Test. It is a descriptive test that consists of two subtests. Testwords consist of three or four letters. He is definitely not reading mature then. He then is reading mature of almost so for there are some conditions more such af analysing-and-synthesizin of words of four letters and absence of mirror writing in the writing test.

If a child is reading mature, he can start with OLL. The essential element of OLL are the discovering pages. Phonemically speaking the Dutch language is much less transparent than almost completely transparent languages like Italian, Finnish and Czech, but much more transparent than languages like English and Danish. The classification of the British reading expert Debbie Hepplewhite born in yields letter-sound-combinations. And so on. Maybe a native speaker of English can construct enough discovering pages for all these letter-sound-combinations, but the time being Discovery Learning to Read DLR looks only feasible with one or more auxiliary letters.

There are two conditions for a discovering page with a non-standard letter symbol. The first is that such a letter symbol resembles the standard alphabet as much as possible. And the second condition is that in the case of a combination of letters, the child is familiar with the composing parts.

In Vervaets opinion, the aim should be to keep the number of non-standard letter symbols as low as possible. After all, whatever kind of positive purpose is aimed for with non-standard letter symbols, the child learns them for the time being and should replace them — preferably as early as possible — and thus unlearn them.

The number of things to be unlearned should therefore not be greater than strictly necessary. In later discovering pages the child discovers the correct spelling. There are several common misconceptions regarding inquiry-based science, the first being that inquiry science is simply instruction that teaches students to follow the scientific method.

Many teachers had the opportunity to work within the constraints of the scientific method as students themselves and figure inquiry learning must be the same. Inquiry science is not just about solving problems in six simple steps but much more broadly focused on the intellectual problem-solving skills developed throughout a scientific process.

Some educators believe that there is only one true method of inquiry, which would be described as the level four: Open Inquiry. While open inquiry may be the most authentic form of inquiry, there are many skills and a level of conceptual understanding that the students must have developed before they can be successful at this high level of inquiry. A multifaceted approach to science keeps students engaged and learning.

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Not every student is going to learn the same amount from an inquiry lesson; students must be invested in the topic of study to authentically reach the set learning goals. Teachers must be prepared to ask students questions to probe their thinking processes in order to assess accurately. Inquiry-science requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise, however, the benefits outweigh the cost when true authentic learning can take place [ citation needed ].

The literature states that inquiry requires multiple cognitive processes and variables, such as causality and co-occurrence that enrich with age and experience.