Inquiry Learning – My five takeaways

Over the past four weeks I have been delving into a personal inquiry project into inquiry learning.  This learning journey was an opportunity to dive deeper into inquiry mindsets and how we could foster this within our classrooms.

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Through this time I have come across many worthy comments, articles, blogs and strategies about how teachers can foster an inquiry classroom rather than seeing it as a bolt on.

My five key learnings and takeaways:

1. I quickly learnt that the International Baccalaureate PYP approach to learning was an interesting one and asked myself what I could learn from this? Learning needs to be transdisciplinary and focused on the needs and desires of the learner rather than a set curriculum. I questioned how this could fit into the St Luke’s philosophy as we strive to link our six pillars of learning to our content.

2.How can we allow children the opportunity to express themselves? Why do we have one set way of doing things? As teachers, we need to facilitate a lifelong love of learning and start to see our students as capable participants within this process. This week I started a process from my reading from the blog ‘WhatEdSaid‘ where she discusses that unit planning isn’t linear. The pictures below show some of the planning of our students for next terms learning. Keep in mind this was their first go – they did fantastically!

IMG_4143.JPG3. Does an inquiry cycle matter? I discovered the work of Kath Murdoch along my journey who offered a valid idea “How much stronger would it be if we invited our students to inquire into the way a cycle of inquiry might work and then co construct a way of making that process visible in the learning space?” As I pondered back on our first unit of inquiry I wonder how much our students took in about the process? Did they really know what it meant to inquire? Did we peel back the layers enough together to understand the process?

4. Use real world problems. This pearl of wisdom comes from Trev Mackenzie. Using design thinking, start with a problem you’d like to solve and then work from there. Next term; albeit a little late, I am excited to start planning our unit about how we can bring Vivid to St Luke’s.

5. Start with 5 to build student agency! Start with 5 minutes a day where students are invited to reflect on their learning and contribute to their personal learning plans and make comments about where their learning should go next…

Do you have a tip on where I should head next? Feel free to tweet me @angelaryall02 I am super excited for the term ahead with this knowledge onboard and making changes within our learning space to give students more ‘voice and choice!’




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