“Inquiry” is defined as “a seeking for truth, information, or knowledge – seeking information by questioning.”
Inquiry learning is based on our natural curiosity to understand the world around us. Through undertaking Inquiry children develop higher-order critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and skills that will enable them to continue to seek answers to questions and issues throughout their lives – be a life-long learner.
At Elmwood Normal School we support the children to develop inquiry skills and inquiring attitudes. We guide children through relevant, real-life inquiry learning, scaffolding the learning, and gradually removing the scaffolding as they develop their skills. They are encouraged to be active in the learning process through asking questions, making discoveries, and testing those discoveries in order to foster a deeper understanding of the topic, rather than just rote learning of information.
Inquiry learning through our integrated curriculum is divided into six identified Key Concepts;
Communities Cultural Identity
Change Environment and Sustainability
Design and Innovation Systems
Concept-based learning is driven by `big ideas’ and subject-specific content. Each concept is linked to the learning areas of Science, Social Sciences and Technology. These are the major learning areas for the duration of each Inquiry with the other learning areas (eg. The Arts, Health) providing guidance for integration across the curriculum.
As the children move through the school they revisit the six Key Concepts through different contexts. This enables them to make connections and transfer their learning across to new situations, leading to a deeper level of understanding.
“Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, involve me, I understand.” Carl Orff