As one of the top international schools in AP & Telangana that offer the IB (International Baccalaureate) and Cambridge (CAIE, IGCSE) Curriculum, we understand the parents have lots of questions and doubts about how the inquiry based approach is different in an international school. We have a list of 5 key ideas you definitely need to know about an inquiry based-curriculum:
- Inquiry is driven by children
Inquiry based curriculum like the IB and CAIE are student-centric, which means they place the learner first. In an inquiry-based classroom children make decisions about what they learn and how they learn through their questions and discoveries. Although facilitators collaborative plan units of inquiry, children’s prior knowledge and their learning goals for themselves give the inquiry its real shape.
- Inquiry based learning experiences are fuelled by curiosity
Inquiry channels the child’s natural curiosity and taps its potential to be a powerful motivator for learning. Inquiry based classrooms value children’s questions about the world around them and teachers in such classrooms inquire with children, rather than merely teaching them content. Teachers use artefacts, questions and provocations to drive and guide the inquiry, and facilitates powerful collaboration between students.
- Inquiry based curriculum is transdisciplinary and conceptually driven
While traditional curriculum often focuses on the delivery of content and information, an inquiry-based curriculum like the International Baccalaureate is driven by key concepts that link learning across different disciplines. This helps children focus on powerful big ideas and learn in a natural and authentic way. A concept like change, for example, would help children made broad connections between adaptation, water cycles, and something like a social revolution. Subject-specific concepts, meanwhile add to the depth and rigor of learning and help them ask narrower questions.
- Inquiry promotes the development of skills
Activities, questions, assessments and teacher provocations are also designed to promote the development of skills in an inquiry based curriculum. Thinking-skills such as analysis and problem-solving, social skills such as conflict resolution and working as a group, communication skills like writing and presenting are all woven into the curriculum and develop with each inquiry and grade level. Other skills like research skills and self-management skills are also equally given opportunities for growth and development.
- Inquiry leads to action
Learning is only effective when it translates into action. Inquiry-based learning is truly educational in the sense that it inspires students to take action, by making a difference in their lives or that of others through advocating a cause, sharing their learning or making a lifestyle change inspired what they inquired about. This action-orientedness makes inquiry-based learning truly transformative.