Community Inquiry Labs 1. Theory of Inquiry Inquiry-based learning - If students are to understand complex systems, as we discuss in the Project Overview, they need to have opportunities to engage with challenging problems, to learn through hands-on investigations, to have supportive lab- and field-experiences, to articulate their ideas to others, and to explore a variety of resources in multiple media (Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University, 1998; Minstrell & Van Zee, 2000; Shavelson & Towne, 2002). We have developed initial Inquiry Units (see below) that foster this kind of learning and help both students and teachers understand how to use the rich resources of the PPP site to support their own knowledge construction. Through this project we will expand those units to meet the needs of diverse students in a wide array of learning domains. This work furthers NSF‟s commitment to inquiry-based learning, which is a philosophical and pedagogical response to the changing needs of the information age. It assumes that all learning begins with the learner: What people know and what they want to learn are not just constraints on what can be taught; they are the very foundation for learning. For this reason, Dewey's (1956) description of the four primary interests of the learner are still a propos: inquiry, or investigation- -the natural desire to learn; communication--the propensity to enter into social relationships; construction--the delight in creating things; and expression or reflection--the desire to extract meaning from experience. Dewey saw these as the natural resources, or the uninvested capital of education, out of which grows active learning. 21st-century challenge • Find problems • Integrate knowledge from multiple sources and media • Think critically • Collaborate • Learn how to learn Inquiry-based learning • … in which people construct knowledge based on the questions that arise in their lived experience Definition? • … a philosophy of education which recognizes the diversity of learners and promotes the development of a critical, socially-engaged intelligence. It typically involves what John Dewey calls the primary interests of the learner: investigation--to find out about the world; communication--to enter into social relationships; construction--to create things and change the world; and expression or reflection--to extract meaning from experience. Performing -> web design • Few people are ever taught to create successful, satisfying experiences for others. Mostly, those folks are in the performing arts: dancers, comedians, storytellers, singers, actors, etc. I now wish I had more training in theater and performing arts to rely on...especially improvisational theater. • –interview with Nathan Shedroff, Vivid Studios (1997, internet.au) Stephen's questions • Why do cars speed up passing a stop sign? • Why do things far away seem blue • Why do my eyes water when I stare • How does your body make tears • Is salt in our tears the same as the salt we put on food • What's that pipe from the silo to the barn? Weather curriculum • Jack Easley asks students to look up at a rainbow, but the children look down and ask: • "Why do earthworms come out of • the ground after it rains?" Interests of the learner • Investigate: learn about the world through authentic engagement • Create: make/change things in the world • Communicate: enter the social world; learn through communication • Express: reflect on experience • –John Dewey, The School & Society, 1900 Inquiry cycle Attitude to work and life • Science ... an attitude of eager, alert observations; a constant questioning of old procedure in light of new observations; a use of the world as well as of books • Art ... an attitude of relish, of emotional drive, a genuine participation in some creative phase of work, and a sense that joy and beauty are legitimate possessions of all human beings, young and old • ... imbuing teachers with an experimental, critical and ardent approach to their work. • –Lucy Sprague Mitchell Progressive education • The education of engaged citizens involves: • –respect for diversity, meaning that each individual should be recognized for his or her own abilities, interests, ideas, needs, and cultural identity, and • –the development of critical, socially engaged intelligence, which enables individuals to understand and participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good • –John Dewey Project on Progressive Ed. Reflection on experience • We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same in the future. This is the only preparation which in the long run amounts to anything. • –John Dewey, Experience & Education Inquiry-based learning • Questions: arising out of experience • Materials: diverse, authentic, challenging • Activities: engaging. hands-on, creating, collaborating, living new roles • Dialogue: listening to others; articulating understandings Reflection: expressing experience; moving from new concepts into action Teacher as inquirer • Inquiry about the world • Partner in inquiry • Modeling • Guiding • Inquiry about teaching and learning Learning to teach - 1 • As a guide for the experimentation we so freely encourage, the table opposite will be helpful. We must caution, however, that it is rife with half-truths--despite our best efforts at disclosure. We are dealing here with living things whose colors, habits, and general constitutions will vary with locale and with the skill of the individual gardener. Learning to teach - 2 • This unpredictability, which strikes terror into the heart of the beginner, is in fact one of the glories of gardening. Things change, certainly from year to year and sometimes from morning to evening. There are mysteries, surprises, and always, lessons to be learned. After almost 40 years hard at it, we are only beginning. • –Amos Pettingill, The Garden Book, 1986 Inquiry in language learning • Berghoff, et al, Beyond reading and writing: Inquiry, curriculum, and multiple ways of knowing. • Bruce & Easley, Emerging communities of practice: Collaboration and communication in action research. • Short, et al, Learning together through inquiry: From Columbus to integrated curriculum. • Wells & Chang-Wells, Constructing knowledge together: Classrooms as centers of inquiry and literacy Inquiry in science learning • National Science Foundation: “research-validated models (e.g., extended inquiry, problem-solving)” • Reinventing Undergraduate Education (Carnegie Foundation's Boyer Commission): “#1 Make research-based learning the standard” • Project 2061 (American Association for the Advancement of Science): “#1 …science literacy for all high-school graduates” 2. The Inquiry Page Web resources promote learning on many levels. Users can learn about history and culture related to their science investigations through images and stories, which have been chosen, labeled, arranged and described to enhance their educational value. Through interactive software they can engage in simulated investigations that would be too expensive, dangerous, or lengthy to pursue in other ways. Web site use can also help students see their own ideas in a new light and encourage the creation and expression of new ones. On the other hand, students can be frustrated by the gap between their ordinary experiences and codified technical knowledge, which seems static and different in kind from the knowledge we gain through daily living. Teachers find it challenging to integrate web resources into their lesson plans in ways that promote true inquiry. If we could see educators and students as representing the ongoing processes of a community of inquiry, then the conflict between personal, situated knowledge, and historically-constituted, communal knowledge becomes a problem of melding and connecting, not of choosing one over the other. Another cornerstone of inquiry-based learning is that it aims to respond to human needs by democratic and equitable processes. A successful "community of inquiry" is not one in which everyone is the same, but instead one that accommodates plurality. As Clark argues (1994, p. 74), a learning community requires maintaining equitable relations among the participants. The challenge that a community of inquiry addresses is how to maintain a focus without denying individual experiences, perceptions, and values. We believe that the interdisciplinary science literacy goals of the Plants, Pathogens, and People project are especially relevant in meeting the basic goals and philosophy of inquiry-based learning. The Inquiry Page - The Inquiry Page (http://inquiry.uiuc.edu/) (Benson & Bruce, 2001; Bruce, Bishop, Heidorn, Lunsford, Poulakos, & Won, 2003; Bruce, 2001; Comstock, Bruce, & Harnisch, 2003) is simultaneously a website, a set of communities, and a research project concerned with supporting inquiry to address human needs. This web based learning environment contains resources for inquiry teaching and learning, as well as a variety of interactive tools to enable individuals and groups to share information and to construct new knowledge. These tools support processes of asking questions, investigating, creating, discussing, and reflecting on problems that are often complex and ill-defined. • inquiry.uiuc.edu Support • Inquiry Teaching & Learning class • Illinois Board of Higher Education, Chickscope Professional Development • Committee on Institutional Cooperation • NCSA staff, students at Purdue and UIUC • UI Research Board • Inquiry partners History • Course website • Project website • Ease of use issues • Increasing support for collaboration • Shift to community focus What is Inquiry? • Creating opportunities to engage students in active learning based on their own questions. • A learner centered and learner driven process. • A cycle where each question leads to an exploration which will then lead to more questions to investigate. • The process of asking, investigating, creating, discussing, and reflecting, and then asking again. What is the Inquiry Page? • Partner project • Resource for inquiry teaching philosophy • Collaborative teaching & learning community • Lesson planning support and idea site How does Inquiry work? • Inquiry involves students as active learners. They may hatch chickens, run a business, or investigate evolution. • The Inquiry Page • … is designed to foster inquiry-based learning. Participants include community members, P-12 teachers, museum educators, librarians, university students and faculty, scientists, and others engaged in a variety of lifelong and informal learning activities. The development of the site has been design-through-use: The processes of creating, using, and critiquing the site exemplify the open- ended aspects of inquiry and social participation that the site itself is encouraging. A collaboratory, where users • find resources to support inquiry-based learning • share, discuss and build upon each others' work • use tools offered by Inquiry partners • explore new ways to assess inquiry-based learning • dialogue with others about new approaches to teaching, learning, and community problem-solving • participate in the institutions that affect their lives The Inquiry website serves approximately 1M page views/year. In addition, there are weekly meetings and a wide range of workshops and conferences. It is also the locus for research, promoting the idea that even its own structures and beliefs need continual re-examination. The Inquiry Page currently supports educators and learners of all ages, curricular areas, and settings. Participants include university students and faculty, K-12 teachers, museum educators, librarians, and others engaged in a variety of lifelong and informal learning activities. The variety of resources on the website has evolved through interactions with different user communities. These resources include: Inquiry Units: A searchable data base of XML-format Units for inquiry-based teaching and learning. Teachers can “spin-off” a unit to customize it for their own purposes, and students can spin-off units for their projects. Collaborative Bibliography: A tool for creating BibTex formatted bibliographic entries, with abstracts, annotations, and full-text links. Assessing Inquiry-Based Learning: A web page linking to articles, presentations, and other resources regarding the special issues of assessment of inquiry-based learning. Links to Resources: A dynamic incorporation (using Digital Windmill) of the Open Directory collection. Inquiry in Action: A section where people show what their inquiry activities look like. It includes photos, video, text descriptions, and links to Inquiry Units. Inquiry Partners: A growing collection of partner projects, courses, and schools. Archived, searchable listservs: Tools for online discussion. Students and teachers can be both creators and users of these objects. 1. Develop resources that support inquiry-based learning using the PPP site in the context of hands-on investigations and dialogue - A key idea in the Inquiry Page is that there is a cycle or spiral of inquiry. Rather than thinking of knowledge as static and the learner as an empty vessel whose job it is to absorb as much as possible of that pre-defined material, the learner is viewed as an inquirer, learning through work on meaningful problems in real situations. This places the primary interests of the learner in the framework of a cycle of inquiry (Bruce & Davidson, 1996). For any question or problem, Inquiry Units become starting points through which people are encouraged to ask questions, investigate, create, discuss, and reflect. Instructors also are learners in this process, both about phenomena in general and about the processes of teaching and learning. They inquire through their access to resources; they communicate with other educators and learners; they construct their own versions of curricula using the online Inquiry Unit generator; and they reflect on teaching and learning experiences as they share both literal and textual photos through these Units. A major activity of this project will be to foster the online creation of Inquiry Units by higher education faculty and undergraduate students. Each Unit starts with a guiding Question and provides a space for activities of Investigation, Creation, Discussion, and Reflection. These activities are conceived as part of an inquiry cycle, or spiral. In order to create a Unit, the user fills out a web-based form that leads to an XML-formatted data structure. When the Unit is called up again by the same, or by another user, a dynamic HTML file is generated. For example, an existing unit called “What caused the great Irish famine and emigration of the mid-1800s?” calls for students to do lab activities on the effects of temperature and moisture on plant pathogens, on the effects of host plant variability on plant disease, and the use of fungicides in managing plant diseases. It also suggests students discuss current issues in agriculture by reading the latest agriculture news at online sources. Another instructor could spin off this unit for a genetics course and adapt it to “What is the origin of the blight that caused the Irish potato famines?” Through the unit, students could connect PPP resources with genomic tools to investigate the DNA of the fungus that caused the blight and verify whether it came from Mexico or Peru (Wade, 2001), thus participating in the on-going knowledge creation of science. Inquiry often leads to new ideas, results, theories, and questions, which can be communicated with others. This communication is central to the whole inquiry process. To facilitate this, Inquiry Units are indexed by user-generated keywords, grade level, subject area, or partner projects. In addition, users can indicate whether the Unit is public or private, ready to use or not, open to comments or not, and whether their email address is to be shown on the Unit. These tags can be employed by other users as they search for Units. Once a Unit is located, it can be used as is. The user can also do a spin-off to modify the Unit to fit local purposes. For example, students can spin-off a copy of the teacher's Unit describing a course module or assignment, thus using the curriculum Inquiry Unit as a starting place for their own work. Inquiry Units are being used in a variety of ways in teaching and learning. They are created by teachers for classroom activities spanning educational levels from pre-kindergarten to graduate school. Students create Inquiry Units to fulfill course requirements or pursue extracurricular goals. Librarians create Units to facilitate the use of educational resources by both teachers and students. Community members are creating Units that help them achieve their personal goals as they pursue learning outside of the classroom context. In a similar way, other Inquiry Resources, including the Collaborative Bibliography, Assessment Tools, Education Resources, Inquiry in Action, and the Webboard will be incorporated into the PPP site. Elements • Quote of the Day: Writings on inquiry • Collaborative technologies • Inquiry in Action: What inquiry looks like • Evaluation/Assessment resources • Collaborative bibliography • Inquiry Units: Searchable database of Units • Inquiry Partners: projects, courses, libraries, museums, schools, community groups, … Types of Inquiry Units • Lesson plan • Syllabus • Student work product • Locus for collaborative investigation • Policy discussion thread • Community action plan • Multimedia digital library document • Pathfinder or bibliography Curriculum units • Graduate course: What are the processes and consequences of electronic publication? • Reflection on teaching: What directions do children's interests take in story reading as inquiry? • Activities to connect science and language: What does hatching chicks have to do with language arts?? • Workshop on poetry writing: Poetry as play Library resources • Multilingual needs: What library and information services are provided for librarians serving the Latino community? How can we present these in the form of a website to librarians and other information professionals? • Policy statement on a collection: What sort of selection policy would be appropriate for developing a 'zine collection? Independent inquiry • How can a former language arts teacher utilize his or her experience in a library science career? • How can one create an evaluation scheme for web sites focusing on books for junior high students? • How can one create a pathfinder to aid students in literary reports? Community action • Create Your Personal SisterNet Spiritual Health Plan Inquiry unit genres (N=100) • 92 Public • 71 Ready to use • 11 K12 Teachers; 20 College teachers; 77 College students; 3 SisterNet; 1 Other • 64 Curriculum; 2 To-do list; 16 Science/technology; 3 Arts/humanities; 6 Social sciences; 1 Leisure activities; 2 Tutorial; 4 Other • 15 Collection development; 3 Pathfinder; 6 Reference; 5 Metadata; 11 Info resource evaluation; 1 Collaboration; 2 Children‟s service • Data analysis: Xueqing Jiang Next steps • Partners: National Science Digital Library, STC Water, Living on the Prairie, East St. Louis, Sisternet, Chicago Lab School, visualization of web • Search: VisIT, VIBE • Use in courses • Collaboratory enhancements • Business & Technical Writing program • Bibliography tool Participation • inquiry.uiuc.edu • Meetings: 5-6 pm Tuesdays, at 131 LIS • Events: www.inquiry.uiuc.edu/bin/events.cgi • Listservs: all, developers, DIME, research, technical, assessment, … • Participatory design 3. Community Inquiry Labs Community Inquiry Laboratory - A Community Inquiry Laboratory (CIL) is a place where members of a community come together to develop shared capacity and work on common problems. "Community" emphasizes support for collaborative activity and for creating knowledge that is connected to people's values, history, and lived experiences. "Inquiry" points to support for open-ended, democratic, participatory engagement. "Laboratory" indicates a space and resources to bring theory and action together in an experimental and critical manner. A CIL is most importantly a concept, not a technology in the narrow sense. In the proposed project, we will develop “community inquiry laboratories” for PPP. We will further develop and refine Inquiry Page tools that faculty can use to build customized the inquiry-based units building on the PPP resources. These units integrate a wide variety of learning activities relevant to the needs, interests, and goals of students. 2. Build Community Inquiry Laboratories in specific settings - Another key concept throughout is that the processes of creating, using, and critiquing the site and the resources within it should exemplify the open-ended aspects of inquiry and social participation that the site itself is encouraging. The users are the developers, through their creation of the site content, their contributions to the interface, and their evaluations, often simply by discussion within the inquiry community of its usefulness, reports of what works and what does not in the context of their own settings of use (Bruce & Easley, 2000). Workshops on use of the site are one type of focused evaluation activity that serves design through use. Such workshops offer a window into use that helps anchor further design of inquiry-based learning technologies (social and digital) in authentic experiences, while stimulating creative extensions. For example, for a related project, we conducted workshops for the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Users told us they wanted to include multiple web site links in their Units. This led to the idea of a live URL feature. After adding that, other users asked for full HTML support. Today the site can be used by anyone without any knowledge of HTML, but the users who do know it can add functionality to their own Units through full web programming, including the incorporation of images, audio, and video. We will work with faculty to develop Community Inquiry Laboratories to meet the needs of learners in specific settings. We will further develop a web-based tool that enables the creation of these Community Inquiry Laboratories by faculty on their own, thus making the project more sustainable in the long run. 4. Research on Inquiry Research questions • How can we • connect learning & life? • support lifelong learning? • accommodate diversity & shared values 1) Connect school and life Evolving uses • Teachers share curriculum units • Project website: researchers, students • Student work • Community health care • Water quality: policy makers, industry, public, K12 Communities of inquiry • Charles Sanders Peirce (1868), Some consequences of four incapacities claimed for man One earth • Relate the school to life, and all studies are of necessity correlated. • John Dewey, School and Society 2) Support lifelong learning • technology => solves a problem • solution to a problem => technology Problem-solving cycle • problem 1 => technology 1 • technology 1 => problem 2 • problem 2 => technology 2 • technology 2 => problem 3 … Design by use: Collaboration • Create and share a unit • Dialogue spaces: listservs, web forums • Spin-offs • Comment feature on units • Multiple authors with separate logins • Distributed IP: Style sheets • Synchronous editing support Participatory inquiry • Design through use or participatory inquiry aims to respond to human needs by democratic processes. Through creation of content, contributions to interactive elements, and incorporation into practice, users are not merely recipients of technology, but participate actively in its ongoing development. Pragmatic technology • technology as the means for resolving a problematic situation • Larry A. Hickman (1990), John Dewey's Pragmatic Technology Meaning of technology • only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future. • Dewey, Experience & Education 3) Accommodate difference and shared values • Distributed Knowledge Research Collaborative • East St. Louis Action Research Project • SisterNet Spiritual Health Plan • Latino Student Coalition Spiritual Health Plan • For the Create section -- • I would like to accomplish the following goals: Once each week I would like to take at least four (4) hours of the weekend for my own enjoyment. This will include, but is not limited to, things like: going to the beauty shop, going out to dinner or to the movies with my husband, reading my Bible or some other book, or just praying or meditating. … I also will let my family know that I love and support them... Direct communication • Any Internet technology that does not allow for its users to communicate directly with each other is doomed to failure • D. M. Powasek, Design for community: The art of connecting real people in virtual places Equitable relations, then tasks • renders the progress of expertise in a community secondary to a relational and epistemological practice of confronting differences so that its participants can come to understand how the beliefs and purposes of others can call their own into question. • Clark, "Rescuing the discourse of community" Design through use techniques • Workshops • Inquiry group meetings • Retreats • Email/bboard discussion • Feedback forms Active participation • every individual must be consulted in such a way, actively not passively, that he himself becomes a part of the process of authority. • Dewey, Democracy & Education La propension des choses • In the traditional configuration (shi)…, tension is expressed by the curve of a roof… • François Jullien Co-evolution To establish web-based learning environments called „PPP Community Inquiry Laboratories‟ in which students and teachers learn together and connect with ongoing scientific research and community-based needs. Through a Community Inquiry Laboratory, participants, whether they are students, faculty, scientists, or community members, can actively engage with questions that are meaningful to them. Tools for inquiry and dialogue allow them to connect the PPP resources developed to meet Goal #1 with specific problems in agriculture, biology, health, history, or other domains.
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