So… sorry for the very late post this week, but it’s been crazy and I’ve been too stressed to even think about writing this.
Chris gave us a wonderful example of inquiry-based instruction with his description of a mock town-hall meeting he designed and conducted with the students at his placement. He found a real-life example of a salt mine collapse near our area, wrote roles for each of the students to take, had each student come up with position statements based on their character, and carried out the town-hall meeting, which was wildly successful. He identified a concern initially that this would seem fake to the students because they were assigned roles, but quickly found that the students got really into the assignment and the lesson and had quite spirited town hall meetings. This lesson is an example of inquiry-based instruction because the students were engaged in investigating a real-life scientific problem, had to prepare evidence-based arguments to support their positions, and presented their arguments in a relevant and meaningful context.
We also considered four other aspects of inquiry-based instruction during class, specifically, aspects of guiding students through modeling, helping them analyse data, helping them formulate investigatable questions, and helping them present their arguments. Everyone in the class had great suggestions for specifically how to guide students in learning these skills. I believe that there is a website forthcoming that will incorporate all of these specific suggestions, so I will refrain from listing them here, and will try to remember to link to that website once it is actually created.