'Real World' Inquiry Based Learning
Jennifer Pollock | Deputy Curriculum | 17 May 2019
An article published recently by Gillian Kidman, Assoc. Professor of Science Education at Monash University, explains the value of the inquiry-based learning approach in helping students to make meaning of what they are learning and to understand how a concept relates to real-world contexts. The approach allows students to develop new knowledge for themselves by exploring, experiencing and discussing as they learn.
Kidman explains the current disconnect in that while the major focus by the media and educational authorities has been on standardised testing, such as NAPLAN, that only assesses a narrow range of literacy and numeracy skills, our global society actually values innovation, discovery and inter-disciplinary thinking. However, these learning attributes are challenging to assess.
Kidman emphasises the importance of schools focusing on developing students as being good inquirers and developing learning skills such as how to ask and answer questions, solve problems, conduct investigations and research, reminding us that this involves taking risks, is intellectually demanding, and above all, it helps us learn.
This inquiry-based learning approach aligns with the learning framework approach at St Lukes, and our focus on the development of dispositions such as questioning, reasoning.
The School's learning framework (Learning@STLUKE'S) also aligns with a report published in 2018 by the FYA explaining that for young Australians to be equipped with the skills and capabilities to navigate their futures, they need to develop enterprise skills that are transferable to many jobs. These enterprise skills include problem solving, communication, teamwork, and creativity.