Inquiry learning. A key element in all 21st century classrooms.
What is it? A whole list of words spring to mind: student based learning; student research; questions; project based learning; collaborative; knowledge building; creation; critical reflection; celebrating; sharing & presenting; constructivist; experimental; hands on learning…… the list goes on.
As I prepare for a new school term, 7 more sleeps to go, I am refreshing my approach to inquiry learning in my class. I stumbled upon a great resource on the SAUCE approach to inquiry teaching and learning, thanks Trevor Bond. I really started to critically reflect on my own approach to inquiry learning and what my intended outcomes for my learners are. Trevor makes numerous links to using inquiry learning to scaffold learners to become independent learners and illustrates how simply re-working tasks can transform the learner onto the road to independence. This resonated with me as I am not sure all of my teaching and task selection is fostering deep conceptual understanding of a concept and independence. During a culture inquiry unit, I do not believe that some of my learners developed deep conceptual understanding of culture. So, enter the SAUCE model to inquiry learning. Key thing I love about this model: Celebrate understanding: learners produce/share/celebrate their understanding of new learning vs Celebrate Found – which is sharing new learning they have found (information recall). As I start to plan and gather resources for my classroom, I am going to ensure that I create tasks and experiences that enable my learners to celebrate their deep understanding of the key concepts and to develop independence. As a 21st century educator, it is so important to revisit strategies, models and to reflect on what I am doing and to make changes that will transform my teaching and the learning of my students – (teaching as inquiry!)