September 21, 2011

Module 2- Learning Log 2

Posted in Learning Logs- Module 2 at 5:27 pm by lmt84

As I begin to read more about Inquiry Based Learning, I now see just how important it is for students to learn to question. The readings have shown me that questioning is a key ingredient in creating independent, critical thinkers. In order to truly mold our students into life-long learners, we must teach them that questioning is an essential skill.

Questioning is a very natural part of our lives, and I see evidence of this through the genuine curiosity of toddlers. It’s important that we keep this drive for knowledge as we continue through life. As educators, we want to encourage our students to constantly ask “why” and “how” when they are presented with information. Constantly using these questions will enable them to have a true dialogue with the material in front of them, which will ultimately keep them engaged in the content. Valenza’s article stated “Questions allow us to control our lives and allow us to make sense of a confusing world.” If we train students to see the value of questioning what they are given, we are only giving them the opportunity to better navigate through the vast and complex world that exists outside of the classroom.

When we stress the importance of questioning, we are helping to create independent thinkers. Those who question will be those who do not seek to simply find the answers—they want to explore issues at a deeper level. This will lead to a more meaningful learning experience, which will positively impact student success. From the readings I gather that questioning should not only be geared towards the actual content but to teachers and classmates as well. Conversation and collaboration will again lead to the assignment at hand being investigated and analyzed in a more thoughtful way. Fontichiaro confirms this notion when she writes, “Questions trigger the interactions that can eventually lead to greater understanding of an environment, a situation, a problem, an issue, or actions of a person or group” (121). If we want our students to have authentic learning experiences, questioning seems to be a critical aspect that must take place throughout the entire assignment. The readings have led me to believe that questioning leads to an increase in engagement. When students are truly engaged in the content, they will work harder to find answers that satisfy their needs. In turn they now have the capability to analyze these results on a more critical level.

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