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 for a lifetime of growth.
Fostering a learning environment that requires children to build knowledge is important. The classroom environment has to be one that supports knowledge building and inquiry:
- Teaching and learning environments should replicate the conditions in which real life researchers and other experts work. The work at hand dictates what needs to be done, and the standards to which it must be completed. The work that students undertake needs to be authentic, worth doing, life-worthy and fit within the overall direction of learning. Teachers and students work together to lay out time lines, identify resources, and determine how success will be assessed.
- Learning environments are mobile and flexible. Students and teachers work together face-to-face and online, and with other students and experts from outside the classroom. Digital resources can be easily accessed, and teachers and students can bring their personal digital devices to school to collaborate with each other, access they need and contribute to knowledge building.
What is learned and how it is learned changes. Students must have access to robust and academically rigorous content to create new knowledge. They do this by analyzing and synthesizing information, posing problems in ambiguous situations, interpreting content, defending solutions and points of view, and designing, constructing and evaluating their way through a problem, issue, question, task or idea.
Learn more about inquiry in the free download, Focus on Inquiry: