Many times when I plan my own lessons, the questions are at the beginning of my plan. Here's a nice discussion for why a teacher would want to plan the questions ahead of time.
"Many new teachers perceive planning questions for a classroom discussion as a waste of time. They are comfortable with asking students questions on the spot and prefer the “off-the-cuff” approach.
IN this lesson plan from the New York Times, learn how to prepare a mock trial for your classroom. You can prepare one around just about any topic. This would be an excellent way to end the school year to add enthusiasm.
Here is an interesting point as I research inquiry based learning and move to look in a database that is largely built from overseas. Many places called "inquiry" "enquiry" so in this set of lessons across the curriculum, I have to search using the term "enquiry" to turn up what have been tagged as "inquiry based" lesson plans.
There are many nuances like that as you start looking at best practices across the world to remember. Eventually, hopefully, language searches will translate between common languages (like English) to help us bridge best practices.
If you're looking into inquiry-based learning (or equiry-based depending upon where you're from) - this is a database of lesson plans from Kindergarten up in different categories.
As I'm reading on inquiry based learning, I came across another article, I'd like to share. In this article, it discusses how inquiry-based learning projects are driven by students. This very much aligns with the questions we ask on the Flat Classroom and other projects. The one point of meaning that I'm working to understand (and finding different answers depending upon the site) is that some differentiate that students should develop the questions rather than teachers "handing them" the questions. I have a lesson plan I sent through Diigo where the instructor designed a lesson around the question "Can there be giants?" and called in inquiry based. Under this article, it may not be called true inquiry based, and yet, I'm wondering if the question is intriguing and of interest and can be used in a way to teach if it really matters where the question originates.
My class is a mix of student-created inquiries (Freshman project) and project-generated inquiries (Digiteen, Flat Classroom). Interesting. Look forward to reading and understanding more (and sharing with you.)
This is another nice article on the topic. Feel free to share yours.
"Inquiry-based learning" is one of many terms used to describe educational approaches that are driven more by a learner's questions than by a teacher's lessons. It is inspired by what is sometimes called a constructivist approach to education, which posits that there are many ways of constructing meaning from the building blocks of knowledge and that imparting the skills of "how to learn" is more important than any particular information being presented. Not all inquiry-based learning is constructivist, nor are all constructivist approaches inquiry-based, but the two have similarities and grow from similar philosophies.
As I was reading up on inquiry based learning, I found a research paper from 1999 that has been cited almost 500 times. In this paper, you have an overview of inquiry based learning and how the use of technology is an excellent support for inquiry based learning. (They call it TSIL - technology-supported inquiry learning.) This paper talks about the potential and Opportunities. This is a PDF that I'm reading and filing in my personal research cabinet.
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