OLR has adapted its own authentic Inquiry-based learning programs which can be a student centred or an active learning approach that takes, as its starting point, the natural process of inquiry, building on this to develop information processing and problem-solving skills.
The focus is on 'how we know' rather than 'what we know', with students actively involved in the construction of their own knowledge through active involvement. There is a shift away from a content driven approach towards one that provides children with the skills and resources to discover knowledge for themselves. Children are posed a question and given the skills and resources to explore, investigate and search for answers. They plan and carry out their research, come to some conclusions and decide how they could make change happen. They convert information and data into useful knowledge. Ultimately, the importance of inquiry learning is that students become lifelong learners and learn how to continue learning.
The aims of an Inquiry Learning Approach are to:
Nurture and develop the students’ natural inquiring mind, helping them to become lifelong learners who continue to learn how to learn
Develop the students’ ability to pose questions and plan, research, investigate and search for answers and solutions
Develop the skills needed to convert information and answers into useful knowledge that can be applied to new situations and prompt further learning
Provide students with different ways of viewing the world, communicating about it and successfully coping with the questions and issues of daily living
Develop an understanding that all knowledge changes over time as people challenge, shape and contribute to it
Demonstrate that there are often multiple perspectives for looking at, analysing and understanding things
Provide learning opportunities that are more relevant as concepts are learned in context and relate to existing knowledge and experiences
Develop thinking processes and strategies as sequentially developed in the Critical and Creative Thinking Capability of the Victorian Curriculum and in line with OLR’s Inquiry scope and sequence
Provide rich learning opportunities that are relevant to the children and cross over all learning areas
Encourage students to become independent, resourceful and responsible learners.
At OLR we run C.S.I. (Curious Self-Motivated Investigators) in Years 3/4 and S.I.I. (Student Initiated Inquiry) in Years 5/6 both following Deb Vietri's Make, Know, Do, Act Inquiry Pathways.