My Challenge with Inquiry-Based Learning

The longer I teach in the PYP, the more I recognize how much learning I have to do, especially since I am coming from an American educational background, in which my own student learning experiences did not include inquiry-based learning, let alone my professional teaching training. I’ve had little framework in my personal life experience. So I often find that I have to step away from national standards and think about how I can best construct meaning of the central idea. Most of the time it feels exciting, but sometimes it feels overwhelming–there’s so much unknown as I am a guide on my student’s learning journey. And I’m often wondering to myself: Am I doing this right?

I’ve decided that my that the only way I know I am moving in the right direction is if I see that student action is taking place. Are students taking personal responsibility in their learning? Are they inspired into action?–do they need a nudge or a push to get them moving?

Granted not all action will be a project or consist of a product. I love how Sonya Terborg’s blog lays out 6 ways in which action can be demonstrated by:

  1. Having-more knowledge, more care, more determination and more respect.
  2. Thinking differently-wondering and/or changing your opinion.
  3. Feeling differently-empathizing, loving, admiring, worrying or feeling inspired to make a change.
  4. Doing something or NOT doing something like giving time, money and effort to a cause or stoping a behavior.
  5. Saying-explaining, discussing, debating, asking or thanking.
  6. Being-changing one’s behavior as to be more patient and respectful

I think when I use these ideas as guideposts, I can reflect better on the inquiry and determine what worked and what didn’t work. And, like all things, I need to remain patient with my learning journey, staying open to the process of discovery and growth in this professional area of mine.

I wonder how other educators determine if they are successful in their practice of inquiry based learning. Please share what you consider as your markers of success!

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s