Focus On Inquiry

Assessment: Becoming Authors – A Case Study thumbnail

Creative writing is a classic school assignment. But getting students to write without understanding how actual authors do the job is only scratching the surface. Here, students from Exshaw School in southern Alberta are apprenticed into the world of being a writer, editor and publisher. They end up engaged in the process and excited for the outcome.

Finding an Inquiry Topic: Essential Questions thumbnail

Once you’ve determined which learning conditions are ripe for starting an inquiry, it’s time to sit down and design your topic of investigation. It needs to be something that cuts across subjects, and creates an opening for multiple perspectives. This is where the essential questions come in; they should help kick start your inquiry. Arise… Read More

The Learning Environment  thumbnail

Teachers create the environments and conditions that sponsor student learning.  Each student's prior understanding, background and deep knowledge of how people learn are important components of a learning environment. Meaningful learning tasks combined timely, specific assessment feedback, combined with appropriate resources influence of the wider community – this is a child’s educational environment, and it sets the stage… Read More

A Design for Inquiry thumbnail

Think of inquiry as a topographical map. It's a living, interrelated place full of its own diversity, history and character. And then there are students, who bring their own understandings and experiences to the table. It begs the questions: How do you take a class full of differences to a place that can invite them all… Read More

What is Inquiry? thumbnail

Quite simply, inquiry is a systematic investigation into a problem, issue, topic or idea. But there are many different understandings of what inquiry is, and what it should look like in the classroom. Did you know inquiry-based learning has a strong history rooted in Ancient Greece?  Starting with the notion that the only thing he… Read More

Knowledge Building and the Spirit of Inquiry thumbnail

Consider this: One cannot get on the program at a scientific meeting or be awarded a patent by simply repeating last year’s successful idea. Yet in school, students are exposed mainly to what is already known, along with the reproduction of existing ideas that figure prominently in learning activities and assessment. Students need to take… Read More

What We Know About Learning thumbnail

We have typically judged the success of learning in terms of how much knowledge a student has acquired. But what about the quality of what is being learned? Today, it’s understood the quality of knowledge is just as important as the amount one can possess. There was also a time when learning was understood as… Read More