Since starting on the IB Pathway, I have been interested in learning more about the concept of learning using an inquiry-based approach. To me, inquiry is about having a focused and switched-on mindset, meaning you are always willing to accept new information and actively pursue it. It is interesting to me to think of an education system centred around learners being constantly open to absorbing more. Inquiry means that students are not just passively learning, but are actively involved in the process and make decisions for themselves about what will help them on their learning journey.
I believe that creating inquiring learners is one of the aims of CfE, but I am sure that it is an even more relevant and applied concept in the IB PYP curriculum. In my experience of CfE, I was able to see good examples of inquiring pupils who had autonomy over their own learning because they were offered Personalisation and Choice. This is because Personalisation and Choice is one of the principles of Curricular Design that is highlighted in CfE. A broad element of choice was great to see as I think that it aided pupil’s concentration and motivation, because instead of being parroted learning, they were able to have independence and it meant that they were doing the work they wanted to do. A particular example of this approach in action is a Homework Grid, which was made of up ten optional tasks of which six had to be completed over six weeks, but the order and selection was purely down to the pupils. Instead of dreading homework, it was clear to see that pupils enjoyed having to make the choice and completing the activity that they preferred.
I am intrigued to learn more about inquiry-based learning’s prominence in the IB PYP curriculum and I am wondering how I can apply this approach to my own classroom, regardless of the curriculum I teach. I feel optimistic that I can create a learning environment in my classroom where pupils feel inspired to learn and are excited about school.