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Inquiry-Based Learning MAT Project Veronica Robinson Initial thoughts… Create an inquiry-based lesson. Write a compare/contrast paper on Discovery Learning versus Inquiry-Based Learning. Can inquiry happen in math? Considerations Will I have time to plan meaningful inquiry experiences? Will I be able to cover the curriculum that has to be taught? Will I be willing to let go of the control I now have in my class? Define “inquiry”: “Inquiry implies involvement that leads to understanding. Furthermore, involvement in learning implies possessing skills and attitudes that permit you to seek resolutions to questions and issues while you construct new knowledge.” Inquiry is a constructivist concept. Jean Piaget viewed constructivism as a way of explaining how people come to know the world around them. Discovery learning is an inquiry-based constructivist learning theory. Jerome Bruner stated that discovery learning takes place in problem solving situations where the learner draws on his or her own past experience and existing knowledge to discover facts and relationships and new truths to be learned. Other references to inquiry learning: Discovery learning Guided discovery Problem-based learning Simulation-based learning Case-based learning Incidental learning Inquiry is not so much about seeking the “right” answer. It’s about seeking appropriate resolutions to questions and issues. A LOOK AT SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS Traditional Classrooms Constructivist Classrooms Curriculum is presented whole to part Curriculum is presented part to with emphasis on big concepts. whole, with emphasis on basic skills. Strict adherence to fixed curriculum Pursuit of student questions is highly is highly valued. valued. Curricular activities rely heavily on Curricular activities rely heavily on textbooks and workbooks. primary sources of data and manipulative materials. Students are viewed as “blank slates” Students are viewed as thinkers with onto which information is etched emerging theories about the by the teacher. world. Teachers generally behave in a Teachers generally behave in an didactic manner, disseminating interactive manner, mediating information to students. the environment for students. Teachers seek the correct answer to Teachers seek the students’ points validate student learning. of view in order to understand students’ present conceptions for use in subsequent lessons. Assessment of student learning is Assessment of student learning is viewed as separate from interwoven with teaching and teaching and occurs almost occurs through teacher entirely through testing. observations of students at work and through student exhibitions and portfolios. Students primarily work alone. Students primarily work in groups. “For educators, inquiry implies emphasis on the development of inquiry skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes or habits or mind that will enable individuals to continue the quest for knowledge throughout life.” Four “myths” about inquiry: Inquiry-based instruction subordinates the curriculum to the interests of the child. All subject matter should be taught through inquiry. Student engagement in hands-on activities guarantees that inquiry teaching and learning are taking place. All inquiry-based lessons are open-ended. Features of Classroom Inquiry: Students are engaged with a question. Students give priority to evidence. Students develop explanations based on their evidence. Students evaluate their explanations in light of alternative explanations. Students communicate and justify their proposed explanations. Inquiry is a continuum! One end is “teacher Other end is “learner self- guided;” he/she… directed;” learner… Provides question Poses question Provides data and Determines what method of analysis constitutes evidence & Provides evidence collects it Tells the connections Summarizes evidence & Provides steps & forms explanation procedures for Independently forms communication. connections Communicates & justifies explanations. “The 5 E’s Learning Cycle Instructional Model” Engage Explore Explain Elaborate Evaluate Engage Activities mentally engage students by asking a question, defining a problem, or showing a discrepant event. Activities capture the learners’ interest and helps them make connections with what they know and can do. Explore Students encounter specifically designed exploration activities allowing them to have common, concrete experiences that begin building concepts. Experiences are provided that a teacher can use later to formally introduce a concept, process, or skill. Explain Students and the teacher are provided with common terms relative to the learning task. The teacher directs student attention to specific aspects of the engagement and exploration experiences. Students give their explanations; then the teacher introduces [mathematical] explanations based on what the students shared. The teacher connects the explanations to experiences in the engagement and exploration phases. Elaborate Further activities help students elaborate on their understanding of the concepts. Interaction between students is essential; it allows students to construct a deeper understanding of the concepts. Evaluate The teacher evaluates students’ understanding of concepts and their proficiency with various skills. Students should receive feedback on the adequacy of their explorations. The teacher can use a variety of formal and informal procedures for evaluation. Students should do more than recite isolated bits of information and vocabulary words. Working on this project has been an inquiry-based activity! I became engaged with a question. I explored the question. Writing the paper involved explaining and elaborating. The advisors will evaluate this, but I also have evaluated my own progress and knowledge.
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