September 23, 2011

Module 2- Learning Log 3

Posted in Learning Logs- Module 2 at 5:06 pm by lmt84

I am getting so much from the readings and videos on Inquiry Based Learning. I have never read about this learning experience before, so all of the information is very new, yet inspiring to me. Essential questioning plays a part in inquiry based learning because it helps to make the learning student-centered as well as an authentic learning experience.

I like how inquiry based learning emphasizes that learning is a continuous cycle. It begins with an essential question which leads one into questioning the information that he/she finds, and then turns into the learner questioning his/her interpretations. All of this requires critical thought, which fosters more independent learners. Fontichiaro states, “The learner who masters self-reflection becomes more likely to be not only a true independent learner, but also one who can help others master the information inquiry interactions” (122). Teaching our students to question everything, adapt their thinking, and analyze information encourages them to engage in self-reflection. I think that this also encourages metacognition—students are thinking about how they are thinking and more importantly getting to the heart of why they are thinking. These types of learners will thrive in any learning environment, and will be key helpers to those who are still developing their own skills.

I found the Preddy chapters of the textbook to be especially informative. I like how Leslie Preddy gives information for each step of how to support student inquiry throughout a research process. Again, my belief that it is important for students to see value in the work that they do in school, has been confirmed. They must be engaged in the topic in order for their chances of success to increase. Preddy writes that a key piece of inquiry driven learning is “allowing each student to take a leadership role and ownership of what will be learned and researched by developing his or her own, personalized interest in the topic” (136). When students feel personally responsible and connected to their work, I feel that this leads to a sense of pride. When students reach the point where they truly are proud of their work, I think that they will work even harder to make it a successful experience. Inquiry based learning is more than a student writing a good paper or receiving a perfect score on a test—the products that they create and skills that they develop throughout these processes will possibly impact them for life.

Lastly, I recognize that some of the best inquiry based learning opportunities are the result of collaboration. As a librarian I would jump at the chance to partake in this type of opportunity. I find myself wondering how many people at my school know about inquiry based learning. If I were the librarian, I would try to recruit teachers to collaborate with me on this type of learning experience. I would certainly show the videos to the teachers as proof that student engagement and learning is at an all time high. Preddy states that regarding planning for inquiry projects we must “recognize that collaborative planning is a fulfilling, challenging, and creative process, not traditional and mechanical” (130). Perhaps the fact that this type of collaboration is more inventive and outside the box will actually hook more teachers into trying it out. I simply think to myself that if the planning piece sounds fun, imagine what the actual activity will be like for the students

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