New 'Student Inquiry' learning

October 7, 2015


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Grades 1-2 in a Student Inquiry learning experience with teachers Heather Cosgrove and Andrew White

Teacher Andrew White monitors math process and progress

Watermelon explodes ... as predicted ... how many elastics??

Teachers today are faced with the challenge that learning is changing and the underlying concept of 'one-way' learning from teacher to student is changing.

What was once considered a typical classroom is giving way to a new kind of learning experience that is a hands-on and research-based model known as 'Student Inquiry'.

In the new model, teachers and students are engaged learners and researchers where they both look at real-world issues and controversies and develop through research, communication skills, problem solving and collaboration.

G. C. Huston Public School in Southampton (Saugeen Shores) has begun to implement the new learning model.

"It's a new way of learning," says Principal Dan Russell, "that gets students involved in choosing what they want to explore and learn so that they are more interested and engaged. Students create a project or presentation and then through a demonstration indicate their level of understanding."

For instance, recently, students and teachers undertook to make a watermelon explode by applying elastics continuously around it.  For students, the 'fun' class actually included maths, predicting, estimating and physics.


Through prediction and estimating, the students then become involved in the entire process and are invested in the problem and solution. 

One of the aspects of Inquiry learning is to help students take control of their learning by defining their goals and monitoring their own understanding. It's a new learning concept where the natural wonder of young students is promoted and encouraged so that students learn from each other and the teacher also learns from the students.

In Inquiry based learning, the idea of sitting at a desk and listening to a teacher imparting facts to  students will be gone.  Instead, students will be encouraged to continually ask questions and, in turn, students will be asked for their input and ideas on how to improve areas of learning.

Information will be gathered by the students and then shared, analyzed and discussed with teachers who become facilitators.

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 Teachers check math progress

How many elastics? ...

more than 500!

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015