Monday, February 27, 2012

Inquiry Based Learning

I have heard of inquiry based learning, and have used it before in my classroom with a Model UN simulation. Instead of lecturing students about the role of the United Nations, we split 300 students up into the countries representing the P5, as well as other minor but participating nations. The students had to research their respective countries, current laws in debate, and defend their county's position in a simulation. We had the great privilege of visiting UN Headquarters in New York, and holding the simulation in the General Counsel Room! The students learned how to prep for debate, speech write, and research the national interests of other countries, and left the USA with a much greater understanding about the "world in which they live, learn, communicate, and work." (Inquiry Based Learning. Retrieved from:

Discussing the "how" with students is so important! As an ESL teacher, I am extremely interested in learning how to integrate this into my curriculum, since learning a language is so much about rote memorization of syntax, pragmatics, ect (but hopefully with this, it doesn't have to be!)


  1. Yes, I agree, teaching those "habits of mind" are very important in many content areas, and most certainly in ESL classrooms.

  2. in my observations, it seems essential that teachers help students how to study, and how they learn best. The middle schoolers I am observing are still developing, and have a hard time with decision making, as well as organization. I may have small workshops or at least section off time during class a few times through out the semesters to assist students with this very issue, once I have my own classroom.

  3. Jot those ideas down for the day when you have your own classroom so you don't forget - that's a good idea you'll want to keep!