Inquiry-Based Learning: Enticing Student Curiosity
By: Sherry Mohr
One of my research projects is focused on inquiry-based learning within the classroom. I want to test how inquiry-based learning affects student engagement. Engagement is a buzzword making headlines within education. It is a construct that teachers base entire curriculums off, and an abstract that many hope to achieve amongst their students. In his literature review defining student engagement, Adam Fletcher succinctly defines engagement. He states, “Students are engaged when they are attracted to their work, persist despite challenges and obstacles, and take visible delight in accomplishing their work.” Redefining the role of the teacher from that of sage/lecturer to that of facilitator engages students to develop interests in the subject matter. Developing a more inquiry-based learning environment, where the students are the seekers of knowledge and content is taught based on student curiosities, will not only facilitate student engagement, but will instill lifelong learning within students. The fourth-graders at Wildwood IB World Magnet School in Chicago, IL have created a wonderful inquiry-based learning environment in which they tackle topics based on questions that embody conversations with their teacher. This story really inspired me, and I hope to recreate what this classroom has achieved through my own research. I’ll keep you all updated!
For now, enjoy these wonderful minds at work: