Today in class we spoke with Trevor Mackenzie on the inquiry based classroom. We had a really interesting and valuable conversation in my breakout room about our thoughts on Inquiry in student’s learning. We all agreed that inquiry is great! It promotes discovery and sparks interest in the students’ learning. If the student gets to choose what they are studying it will be something they are actually personally interested in and therefor become more motivated to learn. We also spoke about how learners like myself may struggle with inquiry as we like structure and “guidelines” when it comes to school. I am very much a learner who needs a clear and precise outline of what is expected to me; sometimes I can become overwhelmed and lost in inquiry just because of the vast interpretations and topics we can discover. I think there is a nice balance like Trevor spoke about between the two where you scaffold the general idea for the students and from there they pinpoint one thing they personally want to explore and learn more about.
Trevor also showed us a great map that featured “the Ten Characteristics of the Inquiry Classroom” This is a great resource as it reminds us as teachers what we are striving to achieve when introducing inquiry based learning into our own classrooms. My group felt like even though we have not had much classroom experience as teacher candidates, there were still characteristics that we recognize and strive to achieve in other fields of work such as camp leaders, dance teachers, and any other job that has to do with children.
I personally really like this map and am going to save it as a resource for me as a teacher when creating a inquiry based environment in my classroom to make sure I am welcoming every student, their ideas, and the exploration of new and old knowledge.
Attached map created by: Trevor Mackenzie, Sylvia Duckworth
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