Learning in subject areas outside of English and Mathematics at The Ela Murray International School is based on an inquiry approach, with different subjects integrated into inquiry units, where appropriate.
Inquiry learning is an active thinking and learning process. It is essentially a student-centred learning approach in which the learner is actively involved in the process. It is based on the belief that students must be actively engaged in the process of investigating, processing, organising, synthesisng, refining and extending their knowledge within a topic. Inquiry learning encourages learners to form concepts and generalisations instead of being told simple answers to more complex questions.
Learning is more effective when connections are made across contexts, between learning areas and between prior and new knowledge. Pre-unit planning discussions focus on what students already know and what they want to know and learn, to ensure appropriate pitch and to increase motivation and achievement.
At all levels, inquiry is guided by teachers. Some, or many of the decisions, about inquiry can be made by the students, depending on the situation. Teachers take into account the abilities and experiences of the students when deciding how much choice and power should be given to students.
The importance of developing key skills to become independent lifelong learners is reinforced through the inquiry approach to learning. The inquiry process focuses on developing seven key skills: co-operation, communication, research, problem solving, thinking critically, using technology and task management. Inquiry learning provides students with opportunities to develop higher order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
To download a parent information booklet about the Inquiry Approach click here.