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Exploration, Research, and Inquiry

Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry is defined as the dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlements and coming to know and understand the world. – Alberta Focus on Inquiry, 2004

The purpose of a school-wide focus on inquiry is to improve student achievement through the research and inquiry process.  Students deserve a chance to explore their educational passions, interests, and curiosities and as such our students are encouraged to dig into them through the learning process.   We encourage our Earl students to ask questions during the learning process in order to deepen their learning.  This includes encouraging students to…

  • be open to new ideas and possibilities.
  • formulate their own questions.
  • synthesize, analyze and make meaning of their learning.
  • think about their learning and thinking process, also known as metacognition.

Some of the ways we have already begun to implement this school wide focus include:

  • Genius Hour lessons that provide student choice.
  • Hands on science activities in which students study a phenomenon.
  • Collaborative conversations in the classroom in which students explain their thinking and/or defend their point of view citing sources/examples.
  • Lessons that create authentic connections between education and the real world.

We believe that by providing authentic learning experiences while including student choice, student voice, collaboration, and a process for which to explore the world around us, that we will tap into each student’s natural curiosity creating lifelong learners with the skills to find answers to their questions.

Inquiry-based learning is a process where students are involved in their learning, create essential questions, investigate widely, and then build new understandings, meanings, and knowledge.  That knowledge is new to the student and may be used to answer their essential question, to develop a solution, or to support a position or point of view.  – Alberta Focus on Inquiry, 2004