Each one of us must have played the game of helping rabbit reach the carrot or in a maze find the way out. Such puzzles were common in the weekly newspaper kids section during our childhood.
How many of us at that time realized that they were the different ways of developing critical thinking? Or has ever also heard the words like skill development or inquiry based learning in the traditional education system.
Inquiry based learning is a process by which learner develops deep understanding of the content and increase their intellectual level. This process of learning is self-guided or driven by the learner,which make each of them stand on a different level, based on their development of skills. As an educator it is our moral responsibility to make sure that our teaching methodologies encourage and motivates student to step on a higher level. This can be achieved by asking open ended questions. But, at the same time also ensure that questions are not that open which make student drown in the sea of knowledge.
To inculcate inquiry based learning and to reach the stage where every learner is self-guided the different stages of the learning process should be followed sequentially.
Condition of a learner when development of knowledge is not channelized.
Learner’s achievement when stages of inquiry based learning are followed:
From the above illustration it is evident that development by inquiry is a process and the only way to complete the process successfully is to follow the steps. In this game of learning, educator is more of a clue giving person and learner is like a blind folded participant who will reach the treasure only if the clues are appropriate.
If, the learner reaches the final stage in this process the achievements are uncountable:
- Develops ATL Skills
- Motivates the student to learn
- Make student open to multiple perspective
- Help them think, imagine and search knowledge in real life situation
- Changes the mode of learning from passive to active.
- Provide authentic learning opportunities
- Give opportunity to students to be a part of learning cycle which has 4 stages
Concrete experience Reflective observation
Abstract conceptualization Active experimentation
According to Justice et.al (2003) students think that inquiry based learning has increased their work load. Also number of times students have anxiety of their learning as it is self-directed or they feel over dominated by other group members.
But the impact of these disadvantage can be reduced if the activities involved in the process are designed thoughtfully.