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Inquiry Based Learning at Glendale School


 
Glendale School: Inquiry Based Learning

From Alberta Education’s “Focus on Inquiry” http://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

What is Inquiry Based Learning?

Inquiry-based learning means different things to different teachers and researchers.  Inquiry stands for a fundamental principle of how learning is conducted.  It refers to a variety of processes and ways of thinking that support the development of new knowledge.  Inquiry is essentially a process of active exploration by which we use critical, logical, and creative thinking skills to raise and engage in questions of personal interest.  In inquiry, students are provided with topics that they truly wonder or care about.  Through these passions and curiosities, students make observations, pose questions, examine books and other sources of information to see what is already known in light of experimental evidence; use tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data and finally, propose answers, explanations and predictions and communicate the results.  Inquiry requires identification of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking and consideration of alternative explanations. Ultimately, learning through inquiry empowers students with the skills and knowledge to become independent, life-long learners. 

This year, Glendale Students are immersed in a variety of different inquiries. To learn more about these inquiries, please visit our classroom section of our website.

Creating an Environment for Inquiry

We believe that inquiry is most successful in a classroom environment that physically fosters creativity, encourages questioning and collaboration, stimulates curiosity and provides opportunities to celebrate our successes. We continue to carefully examine the role that “school/classroom environment” has on learning. 

We are all very motivated about the direction we are embarking on. As a school community we will continue to have thoughtful conversations with our families to talk about the important relationship that the inquiry process has with formative assessment (ongoing assessment) and how this ongoing documentation of learning fosters an effective inquiry-focused learning environment that is intellectually engaging and thereby leads to academic success. Our 2013-2014 School Development Plan carefully articulates this theory of action and the specific instructional and academic goals and strategies to do this work effectively with our students.

Please look for more information about this work through daily conversations, the reporting process, parent conferences, newsletters, our school website and school council meetings.  Please feel free to bring your questions forward to us throughout this journey; each conversation is an opportunity for us to learn together.

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