Tasks and Activities: Challenges and Misunderstandings thumbnail

We’ve been talking about strong tasks – the 'hard fun' when students confront those big issues and questions that even experts in the field of study are encountering. You have a great task when students go well beyond merely thinking about a concept – rather students are involved in work that connects them to the… Read More

What happens when teachers design great tasks? thumbnail

Highly-engaged students and teachers who say they’ve become more thoughtful about task design and more reflective about their practice in general - this is what Galileo Educational Network researchers found during the Focus on Inquiry study. The study had researchers, mentors and teachers in 36 Alberta schools working on inquiry-based learning strategies and strong, effective… Read More

Designing Great Tasks with a Focus on Inquiry thumbnail

Planning for student learning is essential for effective teaching. For many educators, designing classroom tasks that are not only interesting, but also intellectually challenging and authentic to disciplinary ways of knowing is a challenge. Galileo Educational Network research team and mentors worked side by side with classroom teachers during the Focus on Inquiry research project. By… Read More

The Focus on Inquiry Foundation: Frameworks and Rubrics thumbnail

During the Focus on Inquiry study, participants were engaged in design-based professional learning, creating the change and studying the impact of the change as it was being enacted. Design-based research can serve as a way to enact and study change within our education system. It’s also the methodology used during the Focus on Inquiry study… Read More

Professional Inquiry thumbnail

Discipline-based inquiry has been shown to positively impact student achievement and provide intellectually engaging learning environments. Timperley (2008) states To engage in professional inquiry that makes a difference for students, teachers need to learn how to identify the pedagogical content knowledge and skills they need to assist their students to achieve the valued outcomes. The… Read More

Inquiry and the Curriculum Conundrum thumbnail

We’ve defined inquiry and discussed how intellectual engagement is an important component of learning. The Focus on Inquiry study found that when teachers and school leaders build a culture of inquiry, it deepens student engagement in learning. But what does that mean for teachers who every day, must accommodate students, their learning needs, and at… Read More

Inquiry and Intellectual Engagement thumbnail

In our previous blog posts we provided a definition of inquiry that was appropriate to K-12 schooling and pointed to research that suggests discipline-based inquiry can positively impact student achievement. It’s time to look more closely at student engagement. The Focus on Inquiry study had teachers noticing deeper levels of engagement when students were involved… Read More

Let’s Clarify What Inquiry Really Is thumbnail

The Focus on Inquiry study uncovered how to deepen engagement in learning through inquiry, a dynamic process of coming to know and understand the world in genuine and authentic ways that take their cue from how knowledge actually lives and works in the world. Once inquiry takes hold is permeates the culture of the school… Read More

Building a Culture of Inquiry thumbnail

This is the first in a series examining a joint research project involving the University of Calgary and Galileo staff. Focus on Inquiry research took place in dozens of Alberta schools during the 2014/15 school year. Here, we analyze the theory and findings of how discipline-based inquiry can improve student engagement in learning. This week's… Read More

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