Have an Inquiry-Based Summer!

Think!
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

You might have heard this “inquiry-based” buzzword before, but what does it actually mean? Inquiry-based learning is “an approach to teaching and learning that places students’ questions, ideas, and observations at the centre of the learning experience” (Capacity Building Series).

It’s the 21st century, and teacher’s don’t hold all the answers anymore — the internet does. Inquiry-based learning puts the emphasis on the investigation, and discovery Students are encouraged to ask questions about topics in a way that spurs their creativity and imagination.

The Inquiry Learning Cycle
The Inquiry Learning Cycle Photo credit: Red Bricks School via Google Images

This learning has been proven incredibly successful and empowering for students. There has been a lot of research done, and the results are positive. When compared to other methods of instruction, inquiry-based learning “enhance[s] the quality of students’ learning” and is an “effective method for teaching students complex processes and procedures such as planning, communicating, problem solving, and decision making” (Review of Research).

Answering a BIG QUESTION this Summer!

Inquiry-based learning is a great way to engage your child/ren, and a fun way to learn together as a family. Keep the inquiry learning cycle graphic in mind as you take on a project. Remember to encourage your child/ren to ask questions — the bigger, the better!  A good question doesn’t have a yes or no answer and provokes a myriad of other questions. Below are some ideas for how to encourage your kids to come up with a question they are passionate about!

Ask "Why?"!
Photo credit: Deposit Photos
If you are going on a trip to somewhere:
  • What is the history of the area?
  • Is there anything unique about this place?
  • Why do we like to take trips?
  • What is the best way to spend summer vacation?
  • Why do we need to have summer vacation?
Not going on a trip? Take a look at the world around you:
  • How is weather created?
  • What is the relationship between x and y?
  • What is the universe made of?
  • What makes us human?
Interested in the Pan Am Games?
  • What is the history of the games?
  • How does one become a professional athlete?
  • How has technology changed sport?
  • Why do humans plan sports?
  • What is the science behind running?

Encourage creativity and watch your children quell any summertime boredom! Try to make it as hands-on as possible by thinking up different ways to answer questions — not all questions are found in books!

Here at RRLS we love using the inquiry-based learning to guide our students to build important research skills! Let us know how you might use this method of teaching at home or in the classroom in the comments below! 

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