Over the past two weeks, my mental model of inquiry-based learning has developed. One new insight I have gained is that there different types of inquiry. Inquiry can be teacher directed, teacher-student shared or student directed. I also learned that these types of inquiry-based learning exist on a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum is structured, teacher-directed inquiry and on the other end of the spectrum is student-centered, open inquiry. In the middle of the spectrum is guided inquiry that is teacher-student shared. We also learned that inquiry can be multidisciplinary (Topic C, 2018).
At the beginning of the course, I was familiar with the 5E Model but was unsure if it was an inquiry-based model. I learned that the 5E model is indeed one way of creating inquiry-based learning experiences, but not the only way. I also discovered that the 5E Model can be used with other content areas other than science. For example, Discovery Education provides inquiry-based units in their Science and Social Studies Techbooks that follow the 5E Model. The Techbooks from Discovery Education are great resources and I highly recommend them. I am looking forward to using them in my classroom next year. I feel that the 5E Model falls more on the teacher-directed side of the inquiry-based learning spectrum and that there are a variety of ways to implement inquiry-based learning.
I also discovered that inquiry doesn’t always have to be hands-on. For example, inquiry can occur through the Socrative Method as evidenced through Urban Academy‘s approach to inquiry. In this instance, the teachers facilitate discussion about a text that the students are reading. They use this approach in a variety of courses including literature and history.
One burning question that still remains in my mind is how do Project-Based Learning and Inquiry-Based Learning fit together? I am still trying to figure out their similarities and differences between the two methods. For example, I was beginning to think that Inquiry-Based Learning is a type of Project-Based learning. It would seem, however, that inquiry can exist without the context of a project as evidenced by the inquiry approach discussed previously at Urban Academy. It would also seem plausible that some projects could occur without inquiry.
How do you think Project-Based Learning and Inquiry-Based Learning fit together? Please share your ideas by commenting. Looking forward to reading your ideas!
Newell, Beth (Producer). (2012). Inquiry-Based Teaching Series [Video series]. New York, NY: The Teaching Channel Retrieved from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/reasons-for-inquiry-based-teaching
Topic C: Types of Inquiry Based Learning. (2018) Retrieved from: https://live.wilkes.edu/d2l/le/content/242169/viewContent/2609382/View