Inquiry-based learning is an effective teaching approach that encourages students to take ownership of their learning and understand concepts better. However, many students find it challenging to engage in inquiry-based learning. This blog post will explore why inquiry is so challenging for students and provide practical strategies for teachers to help their students succeed.
Why is Inquiry so Challenging for Students?
There are many challenges of inquiry based learning that make it difficult for students. Firstly, some students struggle with taking an active role in their learning, which is a crucial component of inquiry-based learning. Secondly, students lacking independent and organizational skills may struggle with inquiry-based learning. Thirdly, limited prior knowledge and a lack of experience with concepts outside the school environment can make inquiry difficult for some students. Additionally, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential for inquiry-based learning, but some students may struggle with these skills. Lastly, a lack of resources can make it challenging for students to engage in inquiry-based learning.
How To Help Students with Inquiry
As teachers, we must help our students build the necessary skills to succeed in inquiry-based learning. Below are some practical strategies that can help your students who are finding challenges in inquiry based learning!
Take on Responsibility
We can help our students become active participants in the learning environment by sharing responsibility with them. For example, we can give them choices in their learning, such as flexible seating or letting them choose where to work. We should also provide feedback and guidance to help them make good choices. By doing this, we help our students build their ability to take responsibility for their learning.
Independent Work Skills & Time Management
Building up independent work skills and time management is critical for inquiry-based learning. We can do this by reinforcing that independent work skills are something they need to be constantly doing. We can also help them recognize how long they can maintain independent work and teach them time management skills. Additionally, we can model how to be organized and make decisions when completing a to-do list. Check out this FREE resource all about teaching independent work skills to your students.
Organization skills are another essential component of inquiry-based learning. We can help students become organized by giving them tools such as agendas, center rotation cards, and to-do lists. We should also model how to be organized and help students make decisions when completing a to-do list.
Limited Prior Knowledge
Limited prior knowledge can make inquiry-based learning challenging for some students. We can help our students build their background knowledge by activating prior knowledge through activities such as the “Wonder Wall” activity. We can also tell them the story of something that happened in history or science to give them the background knowledge needed to dig deeper into inquiry-based learning.
Problem Solving Skills & Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential for inquiry-based learning. We can build these skills in our students by giving them opportunities to delve into problem-solving, such as in math. We can also teach them to have a growth mindset and build a positive classroom culture that supports risk-taking and embraces mistakes.
Lack of Resources
Finding appropriate resources for inquiry-based learning can be challenging. However, we can discover publishers with content suitable for inquiry-based learning and teach our students how to comprehend the resources they’re accessing. By doing so, we can give our students access to the resources they need to ask questions and find their answers.
Inquiry-based learning is an effective teaching approach that encourages students to take ownership of their learning. However, there are many challenges of inquiry based learning for some students. As teachers, we must help our students build the necessary skills to succeed in inquiry-based learning. By building independent work skills, time management, organization skills, background knowledge, problem-solving skills, and access to resources, our students can be much more ready for inquiry-based learning. It takes work on our part, but the payoff for our students is well worth the effort.
Inquiry-Based Learning Products
Check out some of the products mentioned in this post and the podcast that will help you improve inquiry-based learning for your struggling students.
Want to learn more? Check out this week’s podcast episode here.
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