On May 13th 2021, the International School Services (ISS) education workshop “Inquiry & the Young Learner” was successfully hosted by AXIS! The AXIS team expresses our sincerest thanks to the speaker, Ms. Carlene Hamley, Director of School Development for ISS Asia Pacific and to all the parents and educators in attendance.
During the workshop, parents and educators participated in various interactive activities designed to highlight how inquiry-based learning approaches build on the prior experiences of students. One activity used Lego pieces to create a duck within a time limit. The result clearly demonstrated how learning tasks can be approached differently and often have a variety of outcomes unique to each child. Each learner is unique, therefore learning experiences are designed to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners. Inquiry-based learning supports differentiation of learning for the learner, therefore creating empowering and equitable opportunities.
The opening provocation activity framed the introduction and understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy; a framework utilized to design curriculum and is utilized to activities for scaffolding high level thought processes. Most importantly, the framework aids to scaffold student curiosity, academic ownership, and innovative thinking.
It was highlighted that Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what they want to know or telling them what they should know. It is about triggering curiosity! Participants were introduced to the five steps of inquiry-based learning that supports learning design:
Through inquiry based learning the teacher guides and facilitates the learning process. During this time the teacher observes student learning, their reactions, how they process information and the connections they make. Conceptual understanding is also a key driver during inquiry-based learning, as are open-ended questions that encourage the learner to expand and explain their thinking.
Part of a teacher’s role is to initiate the learning process and then step back, thus supporting the learner to step up and take an active role in their own learning.
A partnership between parents and teacher was encouraged during the workshop, and for this to be in unison during the educational journey of a child. Parents augment their children’s learning by encouraging and supporting inquiry at home.
How might parents support inquiry at home?
A final tip was highlighted… get comfortable with the fact that inquiry-based learning can be messy, however, it’s about the child’s world and messiness is good.
…brain development is occurring!