Essay on An Inquiry Based Learning Approach

Essay on An Inquiry Based Learning Approach

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An inquiry based learning approach is being adopted by educators across learning areas in the curriculum. One such learning area embracing an inquiry based approach is the teaching of history. An inquiry based learning approach liberates history teachings, allowing for students to break away from their role of knowledge reciting parrots, instead becoming investigators of history. An inquiry approach is a powerful tool for early childhood educators introducing young children to the history learning area. Early childhood teachers are able to create inquiry based projects for early learners in which they will be engaged in investigations about their families, prior and current events.

Woolfolk and Margetts (2013, p. 327) define inquiry learning as a pedagogical practise in which students are prompted to pose questions about a topic or issue. The students then explore their topic through an inquiry process. Step one is for the educator to act as provocateur, engaging the students in the topic or issue (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2013, p. 328). The educator acts as a guide in determining the child’s prior knowledge and the unknown in relation to the topic or issue. A way to do this with young children is through mind mapping. This will set the basis for the development of inquiry questions. These inquiry questions are based around what the child wants to know about the topic or issue. The next step of inquiry is for the children to begin investigating their topic or issue. Resources and sources are used and assessed for credibility. In an early childhood setting the educator should aid the children to access credible sources. A suggestion is to provide the class with books related to the issue or to assist the children in finding age appro...

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...l adopt the topic and take it as their own, branding it with a sense of ownership. Young children learning history through an inquiry based process will understand that they are their own historians. They understand that there is a process to writing history. Understand that they have a history, one that is still evolving. They know they can undertake investigations to document and share this history. Young children who are engaged in history through inquiry have a much deeper understanding of the discipline than a parrot who can copy its master’s words. Anderson Steeves (2005, p. 74) makes a comparison with inquiry based learning and the quote, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Show a man how to wish and he will eat for a lifetime.” The process of inquiry is a skill. Once shown how to inquire a child will have the skills to investigate a changing world.

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