T3 & Inquiry based learning

This week, we are conducting a GCE Educator Institute, Train-the-Trainer Workshop. The purposes are three-fold:

  1. Clarify and discuss the goals of GCE’s Model for Learning which apply to both formal and informal environments: educating global citizens
  2. Train public and private educators to deliver the curriculum in a range of formats from electives to clubs to summer immersion programs (also available is training to develop full school models)
  3. Build GCE’s Global Network: learning circles of students, educators, and partners — corporate, non-profit, and civic — who collaborate in person and online.

The purpose of our Tuesday morning session is to explore the essence of Inquiry-Based Learning and the contexts in which it is most effectively employed. Participants, educators from four schools — Global Citzenship HS, Chicago International CS Northtown, Young Women’s Leadership CS, and Glenbrook South HS — share their understanding of IBL in two ways, both of which contribute to GCE’s practice and examination of Inquiry and Project based learning, blended learning, City2Classroom* programs, and MDG & CCSS alignment:

  1. Thoughts and definitions about IBL posted as comments to this blog.
  2. No fewer than 3 examples of appropriate scenarios in which IBL optimizes student learning, also posted as comments to this blog.
Please enjoy and contribute as well.
Thank you,

7 Responses to T3 & Inquiry based learning

  1. Tim says:

    Specifically, IBL’s Three Minute Flurry is a teaching strategy which builds engagement among students by existing without the prerequisite of prior knowledge, experience, or eloquence. In this sense, it is well-suited to generative thinking, at the beginning of a process, or in the building of a theme or idea.

    Generally, IBL seems like a social way for the varied ideas of various people to converge peaceably, without stepping on the toes of other ideas, or getting in their way. It’s like a museum where several artists come and hang their work with their brushes in hand. As they walk through the galleries, they see other ‘ideas’ and works which they begin to assess, evaluate, and critique, though not always by making marks on the other artists’ work. Rather, they return to their own canvas, free to erase, add, alter and contribute to their own art based on both the input from other artists, as well as the thinking and emotion that input has stirred in their own mind.

    Where would this IBL, generally, be useful?

    For teachers
     To collectively identify the arc of a new curriculum / course, or alter and strengthen an old one.

    For students
     To approach a confusing work or situation – just coming back from a challenging field experience where the subject matter was scary, new, uncomfortable, etc. – and to move as a group toward some sense of clarity, understanding, or even resolution.

    For partners
     To identify specific ways they can be of maximum service or use to GCE students conducting FE

  2. Melissa Kaufman says:

    IBL definition – Inquiry based learning uses questions building upon questions to create a roadmap to an answer or discovery instead of providing a definition or what one thinks the answer already is.

    Scenario 1 –One scenario in which IBL would be appropriate would be in an English course. In exploring literature, students should ask why are we reading this, what does this particular text address and why does it matter to us. What comes to mind is using the text “Sold” with our English 1 students this past year. (To be continued…)

  3. Priscilla Vaz says:

    1- Inquiry-based learning is a pedagogy prompted by and developed through raising guiding questions that will conduct the process of critical and independent investigation of reality.
    2- Appropriate scenarios:
    A) Economic fundamentals class for seniors on the topic of “privatization of water resources”- Who owns the river?
    B) Endurance class for seniors on the topic of autonomy- If your birds are trapped inside, how are you supposed to take fly with them? (Climbing Poetree)
    C) Race/gender class for seniors on the topic of symbolic violence- Good hair bad hair?

  4. Rashonda says:

    Q1: IBL, as implemented by GCE, is a tool that encourages participants to actively listen and engage in the growth of a topic (or idea). More specifically, through the flurry activity a formal space was created (e.g. designated time limit, once specific guiding question, sitting in a circle) for the informal sharing of thoughts; which allows a predetermined topic to evolve as it is pushed by the thoughts, personal experiences, and variety in understanding of all those engaged. This can be effectively used in a wide variety of contexts to promote both critical and free-thinking.

    1. ErinB says:

      Rashonda, I like how you pointed out the attributes of the formal space (time, circumstances, setting). Those are important to consider ahead of time when planning a lesson. They create the safety and structure students need to experience the full potential of the activity.

  5. Meagan Dimas says:

    Inquiry based learning allows students to gain knowledge by means of using guiding questioning in order to actively and wholly explore concepts. In the end, students should have gained an answer to the question at hand.

    Meaningful ways to incorporate inquiry:
    *Use questioning games as an ice breaker activity to get students engaged in the unit.
    *Historical Inquiry – Ex. Investigating war motivation
    *Science – Ex. Body functioning (How does cholesterol levels affect heart functioning?)

  6. Jamie says:

    Inquiry-based Learning is an approach to education that reenacts the most fundamental process of becoming educated – it is the mind’s absolute devotion to the question, and it involves – like other types of devotion – practice, leaps of and challenges to faith.

    1. The Flurry activity could be used by a whole-class or small-group as the introduction of a unit in order to help “calibrate” students’ minds toward the new material, but also to incorporate student-generated questions about a unit topic into the actual progression of that unit — teacher or student records the 3-mintue question session for later transcription, then teacher displays these question “webs” on the wall as a way to keep those student-generated questions at the forefront of the unit, to continually return to and make connections between
    2. “Reading” Art – The Flurry activity could serve to facilitate discussion around any visual text as its referent point – teacher places image on projector (providing as much or as little context about the image as desired), and students have 3 minutes to shout-out as many questions that come to mind
    3. What Are “Good” Questions? — The Flurry activity could be used to generate (either a range, or specific types of) substantive questions that students could then used for an Interview activity like the one completed as part of the Sarvodaya unit, or to help refine question sets for other types of assignments
    4. The Flurry activity could be implemented as part of Writer’s Workshop as a peer-brainstorming activity for all kinds of writing assignments, to help formulate thesis statements, as an antidote to writer’s block, etc.
    5. The Flurry could be utilized by collaborative and integration teams of teachers in unit-planning to field ideas and articulate guiding or essential questions

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