IB Inquiry into Inquiry

What are the attributes of inquiry-based learning?

Inquiry-based learning involves a child-based approach to their own learning. This will be through their own questions/problems about a subject or rather a question/problem presented to them by the teacher and the child need to do their own research in finding answers.

Inquiry can take many different forms in the class room but the main attribute is that the child self-directs either how or what they are going to learn.

Why does the PYP take inquiry as its leading pedagogical approach?

As research suggests that children do learn best after being encouraged to ask questions and become a lively participant in finding the solutions to problems their own way. This allows student to attach information to topics they learn in isolation.

What are the implications of this for the teachers? and students?

For students this can be a great tool for the building blocks to getting from something they have previously learned about to creating a new, more holistic understanding. It is the building blocks for depth of learning. They can use the fractions of what they do know as teasers to what they would like to more about. x = y but how do I find z? through their own research to find ‘z’, whilst not only creating this new bank of knowledge it also helps consolidate how they found out that x=y.

Giving the child the opportunity to self-direct how they will carry out their learning this will encourage them to be more responsible over their learning.

The teaching can therefore take a back seat once this process begins and act as the facilitator to guide their learning process. Beforehand however, the teacher may be through helping the children set goals, developing their questioning skills and then later transferring their inquiring skills to other areas such as; personal inquiring, inquiry about society and emotional inquiry.

Why is inquiry-based learning particularly relevant in contemporary society?

I believe it mirrors, accurately, the basis of most members of the adult community learn too. Through their own exploration and investigation. With so many mainstream search engines operating from questions being asked (Ecosia, Google, Bing) this will develop the child’s questioning abilities so in the adult world they can function with more efficacy to learn what they are puzzled about.

Pedagogical Studies 2

Realising the Ambition: Being Me

What values are present within Early Years Education?

Understanding the depth ‘play’ has to the importance of the child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical capacities.

Valuing the child has a whole person who has complexed cognitive behaviours, such as feelings and ideas.

Parental engagement, this not through one-dimensional avenues such as meetings and/or parents evening.

What practices are promoted to enact or realise those values?

As Pramling-Samuelsson (2010) strives for options such as a ‘play based curriculum. Where the young learner may learn about new skills, subconsciously learn how to work collaboratively with other adult and/or children. Also, using ‘child-based’ pedagogy where play is used as a stimuli for enriched learning opportunities, in creativity, setting boundaries and choice.

Having a holistic early childhood curriculum, where the teacher hopes to focus on a flexible, creative and child-centred curriculum, will aid in promoting the uniqueness in each child and where they can use these quirks in a wider environment. Promoting their creative ideas leads to a growing confidence in further creative thoughts for the young learner.

Parental engagement can be realised through community school-projects, their say on local educational policies and improvement plans within the school. The setting that it takes place is not of huge importance but rather the importance is on the quality of the parents engagement with the child’s learning, so they have a better idea of their progress. “Family learning encourages family members to learn together as a family,
with a focus on intergenerational learning. Family learning activities can also
be specifically designed to enable parents to learn how to support their
children’s learning.” (Education Scotland, 2020)

Reflecting on my own values and beliefs about young children and about learning and teaching in the early years.

I agree with what I have said in my previous reflections but I would like to further research the boundaries to how much a child can have ‘choice’ in a school setting. Their may exist psychological boundaries such as anxieties of having their ideas turned down by peers, or also societal issues such as bullies who may disregard a child’s idea and/or change it so it becomes their vision instead.

IB Pre-Elective Self Study

Reflective Activity 1

How would I summarise the main aims of IB education?

Creating a unique community of striving individuals using life-long skills, as shared through their clear 10 aims for what is expected from an IB education. It sets a child up perfectly for higher education settings as they are already aware of many different aspects of cultures, this is pivotal if travelling overseas for a University opportunity or for building expierence to make use of at a college course. To gift a pupil with the ability to become reflective and balanced this may help in a lot of different aspects of their adult life, down to how they behave, how they eat, how kind they are to their selves and how kind they are to others.


Have you experienced any aspect of the IB aims when working in school or your own education?

I would say I have experienced opportunities in the Scottish curriculum for learners to be communicators, as GIRFEC is implemented across the country, this gives the child the onus to be the first port of call for their own learning, they should have the right to communicate with adults in the school surrounding not only about any personal worries or queries but also be able to challenge their own learning route.

Reflective Activity 2

Similarities: Motivation being noted with the CfE successful learner capacity, I believe this would be recognised through the IB’s ambition of open-minded pupils, as Professor Sandal of Harvard University would argue that in order to be open-minded you must spend painstaking hours studying those things that are important to society but perhaps might not be necessary of importance to one’s self.

Differences: Of course, due to the context that the IB is carried out there is more of an onus on recognising different cultures and practices from a variety of groups  of people from around the globe. This may not be completely of a disadvantage to the CfE however, as if this was more specified to be enthused during learning, perhaps some parents would argue this is not pivotal the to learners future daily life if they are not travellers. The Scottish history and context may come of more use.

Have I experienced or observed the development of any of the IB learner profile attributes in your own education or expierence working with children?

Throughout my personal expierence at school I would say the IB attribute of ‘risk-taking’ was often put to myself. As a rather anxious child I would never exactly volunteer to speak in front of the class or be the group leader for whatever activity but one teacher, I’ll always remembered, would put me in this position (perhaps even against my will) until I realised it can be enjoyable going outside my comfort zone, this is a sensation I have related upon many a time through adult life, as one might imagine.

Reflective Activity 3

Reflect on which of ‘progressive’ trends align with your understanding of teaching and learning within CfE?

The first one that immediately stands out, of course, is the child-centred approach as this aligns perfectly with what GIRFEC stands for. Open plan classrooms, from personal expierence, seem to be up and coming in more modern school buildings and while the study and researches I have read about them deem them to be perfect in a primary school setting (I, too held this view before placement) I personally believe they would perhaps be suited for high school perhaps. The open plans can be ever so disruptive with noise levels and I believe it can affect the psychology of ‘entering the classroom’ a lot of teachers tried to implement behaviour strategies that involved the walking into a classroom being an indication for putting their ‘learning cap’ or whatever metaphor used to get motivated for learning, but the pupils struggled to do this symbolically because even physically they were not stepping in a classroom, per say.

Reflective Activity 4

The fact that PYP recognise that the pupils and teachers are on more level playing fields now and can be more expressive as learners their self. Conceptually understanding how the world works rather than little avenues of learning goes hand in hand with CfE trying to recognise the pupils context in their own societal area and comparing it to around the world. A difference perhaps is that teachers work more hand in hand with one and another where in CfE the teacher is usually an individual figure. Parental involvement seems important to the two different curriculum frameworks. The flexibility of PYP how it can differ from school to school is very similar to the broadness of the CfE e’s and o’s, yes there is specific areas needing to be learned but topics can be decided by the teacher that knows the children best.

Tuesdays with McIntosh

Overall there was two decisive factors in my choice to begin my training as a primary teacher.

Whilst I was still in primary and attending my p7 classes this began the thoughts on how I would like to follow in my teachers footsteps. It shone a light on how an educator does so much more than teach the classic curriculum, such as Math and English, but also teach essential values and thought processes some of which I still apply to my daily life. As someone who had a unorthodox family upbringing I enjoyed the aspect of coming into class and having this figure who inspired me daily. One valuable lesson she taught was that helping/teaching fellow students at the time came almost as a catharsis for me.

Secondly, in my later high school years, I was introduced, from my mother, to the book ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom. Even though the situation differs a lot from the one I’ve found myself in, it remains one of my key inspirations. In the book Morrie is a dying University lecturer, however he has impacted the life of his students to so much of an extent that when Mitch finds out that Morrie is on his death bed he visits him every Tuesday until he eventually passes. For me, it represented just how powerful teaching could be. To not only be affected from the lessons at the time but also to stick with you throughout life.

See below for the trailer for the screenplay inspired by the book:

(As always is the case the film is nowhere near as good as the book!)