Inquiry Requires Intention

Sept. 24, 2019

In PYP Inquiry Requires Intention

Inquiry is the driving force behind teaching and learning in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and at ISNS. The philosophy surrounding inquiry-based learning is built upon solid foundations of educational theory, most clearly identified in the constructivist approach. Constructivism relies on the premise that children learn best when they create connections to their prior knowledge and experiences to form new understandings.

In the classroom, inquiry happens in many forms and stages. At ISNS we use Kath Murdoch’s Inquiry Cycle to frame inquiry into a more coherent and explicit approach. In an inquiry rich classroom, students are actively involved in understanding their own learning. Teachers use the stages of the inquiry cycle (Tuning in, Finding out, Sorting out, Going further, Making conclusion, Taking action) to provide students a specific language with which they are able to express where they are in their individual process of learning.

It is important to understand that while it may seem otherwise, inquiry requires a structured approach built upon facts and knowledge. At ISNS, we provide teachers with excellent training and official professional development provided by the IB. The IB organization ensures that we are effectively implementing the PYP and inquiry by providing ongoing evaluation and support. Even though inquiry may seem like a complex concept to grasp, our students are able to explain it quite succinctly. When some of our grade five PYP students were asked how they would describe inquiry, this is how they responded:

  • “Inquiry is asking deep, meaningful questions” 

  • “You have to be curious to be an inquirer”  

  • “When you inquire, you can’t be afraid to make mistakes”

  • “Inquiry is connecting your learning to other things you already know”

It is our goal to engage all of our ISNS community members in our shared vision of maintaining academic excellence. By modeling inquiry for our students and children, we can help continue growing together as lifelong learners and globally minded citizens. So go on, what are you waiting for? Be an inquirer!

Inquiry involves everyone! It's a group of people, young and old, who are passionate about learning and who want to share their findings with each other. It's a way of thinking that encourages people to be thoughtful and solution-oriented, all with one main goal in mind: to make the world a better place!

Yaśodā Deva