Today's session was on Inquiry Teaching and Learning and Programming a Robot (just very basic level). As far as the robot is concerned, finally it moved and clasped its claws. Although the motions were too dramatic, the whole process spellbound us for that moment. Shortly, I will be able to show some pictures of the occurrence.
Now back to , inquiry learning- the students instead of remembering isolated facts, through inquiry process, should be learning how to learn. Their teachers, instead of acting as dispensers of ready made conclusions, should be teaching them to think for themselves and to use the methods of disciplined inquiry to explore in the various domains of knowledge and to study the world about them. Grand call! As they try to provide their own answers to difficult questions about man and his environment, they begin to understand the complexity of verifying knowledge and the process involved in it.
Methods of inquiring and discovery can be used profitably in classes that include students of different academic abilities. Students should be able define a problem, hypothesise,, draw logical inferences, gathering relevant data, and generalise. Given the appropriate psychological and cognitive climate, these students can perform on a high level and are as highly motivated as hose having so-called superior abilities.
Introduction of an issue, whether of a personal or social nature, elicits a great deal of student discussion and the expression of a variety of viewpoints. As they present their ideas, which are continuously challenged by their peers, students begin to see that value judgment cannot be accepted solely on faith. They realise that judgements about the worthiness of a social action, a group project, or personal conduct stand or fall on the basis of the explicit grounds that support them.
Mystery Islands: A lesson in inquiry
An example of an Inquiry lessons is the "Mystery Island" geography problem presented above, have a special advantage because they can be used with almost any context. Questions like, 'Where would most people live?', 'Where would the least number of people?' and 'What would people do for a living on Mystery Island?' will provide good opportunities hypothesise or predict about the location of cities, population distribution, or the economy of Mystery Island.
Let's recall John Dewey's quotation: "Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry. ”