Inquiry Based Learning - Dos and Don'ts

Inquiry Based Learning - Dos and Don'ts

From what was a passive or subservient learning process earlier, today the learning process has become much more active.

Thus we get what is popularly known as Inquiry Based Learning, wherein the learner actively participates, asks questions and interacts with the mentor to clear his/her doubts.

The need for such reforms have taken place because of the workforce need where individuals needs to be inquisitive and be able to solve complex problem on their own. So as teachers the aim of these educators is to encourage students to ask more questions and understand any concept in and out and not rote it without understanding.

The teachers must know how to model inquiry effectively and research suggests asking four types of questions, inference questions, interpretation questions, transfer questions and question of hypothesis. Here it is important to take a quick look on each type, plus discuss on few tips

Arousing curiosity in the mind of the students is one of the essential features of inquiry based learning process and this is why, it is important for the teachers to consider the dos of this learning process.

Dos of Inquiry Based learning

  1. Let the students be themselves- by this, the idea is not to spoon feed the students but guide the students to accomplish a task on their own. Students will have several questions in their mind and allow them to bring out all these queries and address it with critical thinking and analysis.

It may so happen that at the first attempt they may fail but most importantly they will learn on their own many things out of their failure. In the second attempt, they would not succumb to any critical situation but stand up victorious.

  1. Linking ideas with opportunities- In the path of discovery, the role of a teacher is to ask the right question and assist them. Once the spark of curiosity is ignited in the students mind, students get motivated to satisfy their curiosity by learning more. So here in order to arouse curiosity, teachers have to come up with many creative ideas which will trigger the interest of their students and then teachers may squeeze in the necessary content.
  2. Allow students to discuss what worked out and what did not- in the inquiry based learning it is very important to allow the students to reflect their views. The idea is not just to ask them to think on their opinion but also reflect upon the process that worked out and what did not. In this way they will not just share their views on what they have learned but how they have learned it.

Don’ts of Inquiry Based Learning

  1. Never generalize goals- one of the important points to remember when proceeding with enquiry based learning is helping students become experts in their self-described field at their own pace. So if goals are generalized, students would not would not find it interesting to work upon. The teachers must aim to maximize their effort to make their students feel the taste of being an expert.
  2. Not misleading the ideas of students- time is changing and so are our thinking process. Hence stereotyping thinking ability may mislead the student from their point of analysis. This should be avoided at all cost. ‘Do I Say, No think it always in this direction’ are certain points which a good teacher would never opt for.
  3. Never impose decisions on students- quite often than not, teachers tend to impose decisions in order to control their classroom or if they are shy from participating in any class activities. This is actually wrong as it imbibes a feeling of struggle in the students’ mind. Rather encourage the students to volunteer in activities and reflect their abilities in curriculum decisions.

Well, these are few important points to remember when considering inquiry based learning process. So what is your views on it? Let us know with your comments on this article as it is only through true learning process that a society can progress.

About the Author
Author: Ananya DebroyWebsite:
Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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