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The Inquiry Approach to Learning Essay

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Inquiry is an interactive way of learning. Students are actively engaged in their studies. Inquiry involves student-centered activities focusing on questioning, exploring, and posing explanations. The goal of inquiry is to introduce a new way of learning where students can learn about the world around them through active engagement in real-life examples. Inquiry based learning can be incorporated into all academic subjects throughout the curriculum. Science could possibly be the most effective subject to incorporate inquiry.
In Science, teachers serve as the facilitator of learning, guiding them through the inquiry process. Teachers must ask open-ended questions, allow time for the students to answer, avoid telling students what to do, avoid discouraging students’ ideas or behaviors, encourage to find solutions on their own, encourage collaboration, maintain high standards and order, develop inquiry-based assessments to monitor students’ progress, and know that inquiry may be challenging for some students so be prepared to provide more guidance. There are three types of Science inquiry: structured, guided, and open. Structured is the most teacher-centered form of inquiry. This type of inquiry is mainly seen in laboratory exercises where the teacher needs to provide structure, however the students are the ones who conduct the experiment and find conclusions. Guided inquiry is where the students are given tools to develop a process and find the results. As an example, the teacher would instruct the students to build a rocket, but not tell them how to design it. This leaves creativity and uniqueness for the students to be able to apply their knowledge and skills. Open inquiry is when students determine the problem, i...


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...achievement. The inquiry process is engaging and interactive. Students are learning, not only more science, but the study of the world around them. For all students, especially those with diverse backgrounds and learning disabilities, it is essential for inquiry to be provided with direct instruction, classroom support, and a guided process.








References

Haury, D. (1993). Teaching science through inquiry. ERIC, Retrieved from http://www.ericdigests.org/1993/inquiry.htm

Synergy Learning. (1995, March-April). Inquiry based science. Connect Magazine, p.13, Retrieved from http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/classroom/inquiry_based.html

The Access Center. (n.d.). Science inquiry: the link to accessing the general education curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.k8accesscenter.org/training_resources/ScienceInquiry_accesscurriculum.asp


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