Inquiry Based Learning Approach

Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) is at the center stage of Wesley's teaching and learning approaches. Inquiry Based Learning was first invented by John Dewey and epitomizes the core values of progressive education. It highlights in-depth knowledge through inquisitive learning processes, with an emphasis on the understanding and actions as the goals of learning as opposed to rote memorization. Inquiry based learning engages students in deep thinking and exploration by creating questions of their own; obtaining supporting evidence; explaining the evidence collected; connecting the explanation to the knowledge obtained from the investigative process and creating a solid argument and justification for the explanation.

Put Inquiry Based Learning into Action

It may sound sophisticated for a preschool child, yet multiple scholarly researches prove that inquiry based learning can be effective and engage preschool students as long as the class is well prepared and properly managed. At Wesley schools, we advocate inquiry based learning and support our teachers with abundant resources and teacher training programs to turn a traditional classroom into a learning lab for inquiry based learning.

At Wesley Schools, teachers are encouraged to add inquiries to a lesson wherever it may be applicable. In one way, inquiry concepts can easily be added to existing lesson plans by starting the lesson activity with an open-ended question, rather than definitions and explanations. In another way, teachers may also choose to model their explorations in curiosities and to speak their problem solving processes out loud. For example, they may say “I wonder why the character did that. I wonder why I usually find caterpillars in the same place. I am curious why there are more birds at one feeder and less at another.” There is no right or wrong way to inquire, as long as teachers may see it fit into the context and engage students to learn.

Although Inquiry based learning originates from scientific inquires, it is not confined to learning science subjects only. Almost any topic can become the foundation for an inquiry-based project by modifying an existing lesson plan to an Inquiry approach. “I Wonder” Circle sets a good example of how the inquiry based learning can be applied to the classroom teaching and learning.

Now let us see how Wesley sister school kindergarten teacher, Leah Patridge explains how she implemented inquiry based learning in her classroom.

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