The 'education for inquiry learning' philosophy has strong roots in K-12 Ontario education. Here are three concrete examples which show how the inquiry learning philosophy informs educational practice:
- Kindergarten curriculum: Ontario's kindergarten program is modelled on an inquiry learning approach. (♾) From the Kindergarten curriculum guideline (p. 11): "As children learn through play and inquiry, they develop – and have the opportunity to practise every day – many of the skills and competencies that they will need in order to thrive in the future, including the ability to engage in innovative and complex problem-solving and critical and creative thinking; to work collaboratively with others; and to take what is learned and apply it in new situations in a constantly changing world."
- Professional development: Inquiry learning is arguably the dominant instructional philosophy in Ontario K-12 education. As a result, many of the professional development workshops Ontario teachers participate in include 'inquiry' as a central theme. The same holds true for the many websites that focus on K-12 teacher professional development. (♾)
- Project-based learning: Project-based learning (PBL) is a collaborative inquiry approach that is popular amongst teachers. In 2016. PBL was ranked as the leading K-12 educational trend by the Ontario College of Teachers' Professionally Speaking publication. PBL is the focus of the next topic page.
In preparation for your seminar this week, write out an answer to the following question. Your TA may call on you to share your answer in the seminar: