Examples Of Inquiry Based Learning – What is the school librarian’s role during the inquiry-based learning experience? How can we influence the learning experience for our students and make a difference?
The book Inspiring Curiosity: A Librarian’s Guide to Inquiry-Based Learning hopes to provide inspiring stories and practical examples of how school librarians can go beyond teaching students how to access and evaluate sources to become important contributors to the instructional team.
Examples Of Inquiry Based Learning
Not every inquiry-based lesson will develop into an in-depth research project or paper. Many will result in engaging Socratic seminars where students debate and explore ideas with their classmates. Other inquiry-based lessons may lead to investigating scientific phenomena or creating “subwalls” to document new inquiry questions. I am interested in finding the key entry points where librarians can engage with inquiry-based lessons and offer expertise and insights unique to our position.
Mypchat: How Do Inquiry Teachers Teach?
Librarians can do more than just guide students to digital and print sources. We work directly with every student and every teacher in our school. We see the bigger picture and can see the landscape of our school through the lens of inquiry. We can influence the tone and orientation of how students see themselves as researchers. Each librarian can focus on personalized learning and ensure that we are preparing teenagers for their future.
I am a library and instructional technology teacher at Sunset High School and Arts & Communication Magnet Academy in the Beaverton School District and the author of
I am a member of the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL), the American Association of School Libraries (AASL), the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE), a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer, and a founding member of #edcampPDX. Based on the definition of a phenomenon, I would say that my four months of learning about education in Finland is one. My time in Finland as a Fulbright teacher was nothing short of interesting and sometimes unusual. For most Finnish citizens, what I consider interesting and unusual would be ordinary and traditional. I imagine Finns don’t walk around Helsinki with their mouths agape and heads turning to admire the architecture (something I did every day). But if you asked a Finn and me about Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal activity (ie hot springs, mud pots), we’d both agree that it’s a natural phenomenon.
People tend to agree on which events can be coined, phenomena. Examples include scientific discoveries, trends in technology, natural disasters, and developments in engineering. We marvel at these extraordinary events. Learning about or witnessing phenomena arouses our curiosity. When I first realized that a total solar eclipse would be visible from my hometown, my mind was filled with wonder and racing with questions. I started following astronomy-focused social media accounts; I watched videos explaining an eclipse; and I checked out resources from the public library. My excitement for this natural phenomenon was shared by everyone I knew. This solar eclipse occurred years after I graduated from high school. Nevertheless, I experienced an education like no other because the subject matter was captivating and meaningful.
How To Use Concept Based Teaching In Your Classroom
Students of all ages are constantly observing their surroundings. They notice trends that adults often overlook. What if students had the opportunity to pursue their curiosities during the school day? It worked for me when I was studying solar and lunar eclipses. Why not for students?
In Finland, this approach to inquiry-based learning has become a reality. In 2016, Finland underwent a national curriculum reform. The new curriculum has changed many things in everyday life in Finnish schools. Now, more than ever, the curriculum emphasizes skills, community-based practice, knowledge building, problem solving, continuous assessment, self-assessment, and the use of technology. An important part of the national curriculum reform is the implementation of phenomenon-based learning (PhenoBL).
PhenoBL is where students interact around real problems to solve a problem or explore a curiosity. Phenomenon-based teaching uses children’s natural curiosity to learn in a holistic and authentic context. Holistic real-world phenomena (i.e. solar eclipse) provide the motivating starting point for learning, instead of traditional school subjects. The information and skills related to the phenomenon cross the boundaries between content areas. The students create connections between several subjects. Like all inquiry-based models, PhenoBL enables students to practice critical thinking, creativity, innovation, teamwork and communication.
Phenomenon-based learning is based on a shared observation of real phenomena in the learning community. The observation is not limited to a single perspective on the subject. Instead, the phenomenon is studied from many points of view and integrates several content areas. For example, the English School in Helsinki, Finland conducted a phenomenon learning week centered around the idea of ’time’. Time was the only phenomenon, but the students approached it from many different angles.
Student Centered Learning Examples (and Definition) (2023)
The English school’s entire student body from pre-school to year six participated in the phenomenon-based learning event. First and second graders learned about Finnish clockmakers and then constructed their own cardboard grandfather clocks. Third grade classrooms created calendars from different cultures throughout history. Fourth and fifth graders projected the future of their city by designing blueprints and maps. At the end of the sixth grade, the students of this school go on a class trip to England. For their “time projects,” students created visual itineraries for their 8-day trip, conveying how time is an important part of each activity. These projects are the result of questions from the students. Their inquiries guided the learning process and maintained student motivation.
Finland’s phenomenon-based learning is based on and supported by research. Once the students have formulated the essential question of the project, they begin to investigate the phenomenon using a variety of sources of information. Research is not about memorizing facts. It involves evaluating sources, interpreting information and using evidence to develop new understandings and hone skills. Students use information from their research to understand the phenomenon and address their driving questions. During the investigation, students will realize that the evidence gathered leads to new ideas and even more questions. The information-seeking skills students acquire during PhenoBL will transfer across disciplines and into their everyday lives.
The results of PhenoBL extend beyond a final presentation. Students will experience the inquiry process, develop 21st century skills, and discover a new or renewed passion for learning. Even so, a culminating product is an important component of inquiry-based learning, and rightly so. It gives students the opportunity to share their learning with an audience. There are a number of formats that students can choose from to demonstrate their learning. PhenoBL encourages students to consider new options for sharing their projects. I have seen students create digital and physical posters, 3D models, graphic designs and short videos. If the presentation method is visible, it is acceptable. Through investigative research and product design, students will do more than master learning standards during PhenoBL. They will develop 21st century skills and a love of learning that inspires them to pursue their passions
Wait, there’s more! PhenoBL promotes teacher collaboration. At Espoonlahti school, teachers collaborate to develop and implement interdisciplinary phenomenon projects. For example, the art and physics classes work together to learn how to use light when taking photographs. Biology and cooking classes work together in a project where students learn about different types of fish and how to prepare seafood dishes.
Cooperative Learning Examples, Skills & Benefits (2023)
PhenoBL also gives students the opportunity to explore. I observed a sixth grade class using high-tech virtual reality equipment to explore Google Earth. The HTC Vive headset uses “room-scale” tracking technology, allowing students to move around in 3D space and use motion-tracked controllers to interact with the environment. The students had chosen a specific country they wanted to visit and prepared a detailed itinerary based on their research.
During PhenoBL, students create. In a Finnish elementary school, students explored “design” during their phenomenon-based learning week. After researching famous Finnish designers, the students used Tinkercad, a 3D design program, to create models of their own creations. The designs ranged from the practical as furniture to the imaginative as new modes of transport.
And finally, students use PhenoBL to advocate. For a seventh grade project, students researched the amount of water use in their community and in their homes. Groups created graphs displaying this information along with facts and statistics to demonstrate the need for conservation. In addition to the research, the students programmed LEGO robots to solve a set of tasks all related to water – how we find, transport, use or dispose of it. At the end of the project, groups presented their research, programmed robotics and proposed water saving solutions to a panel of judges. The project began with the class’ desire to uncover a real phenomenon. It ended with a group of empowered students ready to take action.
Yes, a fascinating phenomenon is at the center of Finland’s newest instructional model. But without students committed to using the elements of inquiry, the phenomenon is like a star without orbiting planets. The students’ curiosity about the subject, their quest for information and the efforts to construct products to demonstrate learning is what makes the phenomenon so interesting. PhenoBL inspires students to do more than shoot for the stars. It challenges them to pursue their dreams and illuminate
Inquiry Based Learning
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