Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thinking About Developing Skills Through Inquiry

While in college I have heard nothing but good things about inquiry-based learning in schools. With this style a class focuses on one concentrated project (the example from a video I watched was about healthy bodies) for a period of time. In this time skills such as literacy, math, and social studies fall in place. There are a lot of aspects of this mindset that I like. For example I am a firm believer in trying to find a way to connect the student’s interests with what is being taught. Projects like these tend to spark from a common interest in the class and because this kind of topic is given a lot of time and effort, becoming invested is very probable. This style also tackles situations that could happen in the real world. Subjects that are authentic I feel are easier to grasp for students as well. In these cases I am for inquiry-based learning.
That being said I do see value in traditional ways of teaching. For one thing keeping track of teaching the standards would be easier. Not only for this but I think adapting for each student’s learning level would be simpler as well. The traditional way also has a place especially for the younger students in Kindergarten and 1st grade. These grades are all about introducing subjects. The traditional way has typically been straightforward and I do think it would be easier for young children to digest.
I will say that I may be a little biased to the traditional way due to I was taught in a school system that was very traditional. So what I’d like to do is integrate inquiry-based learning with the traditional learning style. But first I do think I should do a little more on both styles.