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Inquiry learning at Weber School

Weber students waving at the camera.

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Edited transcript

Teaching with Inquiry started when we integrated our curriculum and that was a long time ago and has been a long journey for us. Each year and term now it seems to change. We have made a lot of changes and have been down a lot of roads.

We started with action learning where we trained as a staff, we had some successful units and got excited and the children were all over the place researching. Then we stopped to reflect and thought what are the kids really learning here? What do we want them to learn? This coincided with the AtoL contract.

We picked up Gwen Gawith’s 3 doors, we liked her work and still use it but we have modified it to fit what we are inquiring about. We are at the stage now where we think inquiry changes as the topic changes; there are little inquiries within big inquiries.

Last term we did a music inquiry by looking at what good performance was. Although the children were investigating and inquiring the teachers had a lot to do with this, we were putting things in front of children for them to question and find answers but the focus was on new learning and how they were going to learn it.

This is how inquiry fits in with the learning dispositions, we are always reflecting and thinking about where we need to go next.

On our journey as teachers we’ve made mistakes and things haven’t worked but we haven’t been frightened to try something new again. I think you have to persevere and keep trying. We have had some disasters with some units but we have reflected on them and learnt from them and that’s what the children understand too.

Why we changed and haven’t used one inquiry process is we feel the children perhaps ask questions that they already know the answers to and it sort of focuses them on one little part of the inquiry where we want them to think deeper and wider and that is why we haven’t yet decided on a model of Inquiry. We think there are all different models of inquiry that different parts of different models suit different inquiry needs. Inquiry changes.

integrated curriculum

Published on: 23 Oct 2009