Inquiry Based Learning

1 January 2017

Inquiry-based instruction is a student-centered and teacher-guided instructional approach that engages students in investigating real world questions that they choose within a broad thematic framework. * Inquiry-Based instruction complements traditional instruction by providing a vehicle for extending and applying the learning of students in a way that connects with their interests within a broader thematic framework.

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Students acquire and analyze information, develop and support propositions, provide solutions, and design technology and arts products that demonstrate their thinking and make their learning visible. Inquiry-based instructional approaches place students at the helm of the learning process and teachers in the role of learning facilitator, coach, and modeler. The Benefits of Inquiry-Based Instruction * teaches problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and disciplinary content * promotes the transfer of concepts to new problem questions * teaches students how to learn and builds self-directed learning skills.

The main components of inquiry-based learning include: * a question(s) related to the topic of inquiry to be explored (problem statement), * followed by an investigation and gathering of information related to the question (data collection), * continuing with a discussion of findings (analysis), * Commencing with a reflection on what was learned (implications/conclusion). The 7 steps of inquiry based learning 1-Tuning in * Identifying and defining the issue.

This involves activities design to: Provide students with opportunities to become engaged with the topic * ascertain the students initial curiosity about the topic * allow students to share their personal experience of the topic Questions to ask -what is the issue? -what do they want to find out? -what feeling or opinions do they already have? 2- Preparing to find out; -formulation of hypothesis This involves activities design to: * Find out what the students already know about the topic * To provide the students with a focus for the forthcoming experience *

To help in the planning of further experience and activities. Questions to ask what would happen if? -what do we already know? -what questions do we need to ask? – Why is this happening? 3- Finding out The collection of the data is not an end itself but a means towards developing an understanding This involves activities design to: – Further stimulate the students’ curiosity – provide new information which may answer some of the students’ earlier questions * raise other questions for the students to explore in the future.

Show the drama ‘tharaaganduge Kashigandu’ (an edited version, this drama is based in the past, and shows people engaged in economic activities of that time), after showing the drama, write the following questions on the board, then get them to make groups of 4’s and discuss, brainstorm and answer the questions, then get them to present their answers. Question What time period was the video based on? Give a reason for your answer? What were the activities that the people were engaged in? Do you still see people engaged in these types of activities, if so how often? Preparing to find out; Preparing a questionnaire

Discuss about the drama; the economic activities that the people were engaged in, the things they produced, and how important these activities were to the community at that time. Form groups of 4 and get them to choose one early economic activity, brainstorm and write about what they already know about the activity and what they want to find out about the activity. Then get them to prepare a questionnaire. (The questionnaire should be structure in a way that it will gain information about the selected economic activity and its importance during that time). After making the questionnaires present it to the class.

After the presentation, based on the comments they get, the groups can improve their questionnaires. Finding out Interviewing a resource person Ask the children to be in their groups and concentrate and gain information about the economic activity that they had chosen so they can become specialized in that particular activity, then bring a resource person and get him to give information about the early economic activities, how important it was to the community during the early times, and why most of these activities are declining. During the lecture get the children to fill in their questionnaires and clear their doubts Sorting out

Making a comic strip or writing a report After the interview get the children to discuss about the information they have gained in their groups about the early economic activity they had chosen and then prepare a comic strip or write a report about the particular economic activity they specialized in and present it to class. Others will listen to the presentation from each group and learn more about each economic activity Going further Debate Tell the students that a lot of tourist shops are selling imported lacquer work and shells while the Maldivians who do lacquer work and shells are finding it difficult to make an income from their work.

Divide the class into two teams; one team will be against importing lacquer work and shells as this team is made up of local craftsmen while the other team is for importing these items as they are owners of the tourist shops and they generate a huge profit by importing these goods as the imported ones are cheaper. Tell them that the teacher is from the ministry of trade and she will decide whether to restrict imports of these goods after listening to the debate. divide the class into 2 groups and give the debate question at least 2 days before conducting the debate so that the children can get ready for the debate)

Making connections Drama Divide the class into 5 groups, get the children to discuss and present a drama or a puppet show based on the information they have gained about the early economic activities. through the drama or puppet show they have to show the various economic activities people were engaged in during early times, how important these activities were to the community and why some of these activities started to decline Taking action

Making clay models and posters (own time) Divide the class into 5 groups and ask them to make clay models or posters Clay models: make clay models of people engaged in early economic activities and mount it on plywood, thus creating a scene about life in the past Posters; make posters showing the various early economic activities and their importance to the community Give a deadline for work completion, when the work is completed, display their work in the school so that other children in the school can gain information from the produced work.

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