Inquiry learning

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					                                   Inquiry learning
This approach, typified by the work of Kath Murdoch, is a natural integration of material through an
inquiry approach. It has three key stages or elements:

        A topic of significance is generated or chosen and the key concepts and
                               understandings are identified

                                                     
      Questions related to the topic are generated, usually by both the teacher and
                                       the students

                                                     
  Key Learning Areas are integrated naturally in investigating and answering the questions




                                  Phases of Inquiry
                                                                     Based on:
Tuning in                                                            Murdoch & Hornsby, 1997
     Engaging in the issue/topic
     Focussing on prior knowledge and experience of the learner
     Beginning to identify questions/problems
     Establishing relevance/worth of the topic

Finding out/Investigating
     Locating and gathering information from a range of sources
     Further clarifying/extending questions

Sorting out
     Making sense of experiences/data
     Organising information gathered in a range of ways
     Analysing information from a range of perspectives

Drawing conclusions
     Articulating new understandings
     Answering and refining questions                Going Further?

Reflecting and Taking action
     Doing something with/about what we have learned
     Considering the bigger picture — what does this mean for me as a learner?
     Celebrating the learning journey
                                  Phases of Inquiry
Phase                                              Tools and activities
Tuning in                                           Concept mapping, flow charts, Y-charts etc
    Engaging in the issue/topic                    Structured brainstorms
    Focussing on prior knowledge and               Diagrams/drawings
    experience of the learner                       Listing, bundling key questions
                                                    Structured discussions (eg using talk tokens; paired
   Beginning to identify questions/problems
                                                      interviews; piggy back brainstorming)
   Establishing relevance/worth of the topic       PMI’s using prior knowledge
                                                    Using visual texts —analysis/captions
                                                    Collaborative quiz
                                                       Viewing videos
Finding out/Investigating                              Interviewing guest speakers
    Locating and gathering information from           Surveying and interviewing
    a range of sources                                 Shared reading
                                                       Observing real events
   Further clarifying/extending questions             Excursions and incursions
                                                       Using the internet or CD mm


Sorting out                                         Artistic representations across all modes of visual arts
    Making sense of experiences/data               Music composition —instrumental, vocal, using existing
                                                      pieces and making a soundscape
    Organising information gathered in a
                                                    Mathematical forms of visual representation, mapping,
    range of ways
                                                      graphing, Venn diagrams
   Analysing information from a range of           Writing across genres Data charts
    perspectives                                    Written maps
                                                    Using photos for visual and written responses
                                                    Drama activities: role play, question in role

Drawing conclusions                                   Writing statements of generalisation
     Articulating new understandings                 Consequence wheels
     Answering and refining questions                Thinking Hats
                                                      Using metaphor and analogy
                                                      Diagramatic representations of the concept
                                                      Matching cause and effect
                                                      Compare and contrast (with related concept)

   Going Further                                    Individual and small group contracts
        Alternative experiences or avenues of      Alternative ‘finding out’ experiences
        inquiry to gain new or deeper insights      Focussed research tasks around unanswered
                                                      questions or interests
       Opportunities for individual or small
                                                    Using Gardner’s Grid to select independent
        group pathways
                                                      activities

Reflecting and Taking action                          Self assessment, Peer assessment, Learning logs
    Doing something with/about what we               Informing others – oral presentations, making posters etc
    have learned                                      Mini campaigns in the school local community
   Considering the bigger picture — what             Personal goal setting and action plans
    does this mean for me as a learner?
   Celebrating the learning journey


      Based on Murdoch, K. & Hornsby, D. 1997, Planning Curriculum Connections, Eleanor Curtain, Melbourne. (and
      the subsequent work of Kath Murdoch)

				
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