Inquiry Learning Big6-Style: It All Starts with Asking Great Questions!
Meaningful inquiry learning can be exciting and fun for students as they explore, discover, and stretch their intellect and skills. It can also be terrifying and challenging as there are no simple answers or cookie cutter paths to success. Students must wrestle with complex issues and use and further develop all of their thinking and problem-solving abilities. Effective inquiry engages students in making connections and constructing knowledge. It goes far beyond simply searching for and reporting answers. Meaningful inquiry taps into student curiosity and challenges them to push past their comfort zones. Underlying all of inquiry is information problem-solving—well-articulated by the Big6 process. But, while the Big6 is applicable to any information problem-solving situation, inquiry requires much deeper competence and development at each stage, particularly in Task Definition and Use of Information. Asking and framing good questions is at the heart of meaningful inquiry. Addressing those questions requires being able to deeply engage with information, knowledge, and ideas from a wide range of resources. In the edWeb.net LMC @ The Forefront community’s January webinar, Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz focused on meaningful inquiry learning by emphasizing Task Definition and Use of Information. Mike and Bob shared a framework and strategies for improving students’ question-formulation and understanding. Attendees learned how to use information tools and techniques to create “aha” moments and products that demonstrate deep student learning.
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