Within the curriculum there is an emphasis on developing units of work that are inquiry based and contain both higher order thinking skills and hands-on investigations. The goal of Inquiry Learning is for students to develop significant understandings about a topic through meaningful teaching and learning experiences based on the process of inquiry [investigation]. Teachers identify the ‘big ideas’ or important broad knowledge that students will develop during the unit [i.e. the purpose of the teaching] and express these as understandings. Before teachers start to develop understandings they ‘Tune In’ to the facts that students already know about the topic [the point of knowing]. Once facts have been collected, students draw on these to adopt higher levels of thinking and organisation, and to form concepts.
There are many different skills that students must use and be taught during the Inquiry Process. They must be able to identify information requirements, locate, organise and use information. All students will require skills for observing, predicting, constructing and problem solving – skills they will need in the future!
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