Inquiry-based Learning

Report
As explicated by Chip Bruce
(summarized by Gary Richmond)
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Inquiry ought to be reality based
Each of the 5 stages of this “spiral path of
inquiry” interpenetrates with all the others
The cycle is merely “suggestive”—not the be all
and end all of inquiry
The cycle means “to relate theory with
ordinary practices”
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Students should learn that the only really
important questions to ask are their own
This begins with instilling in them the desire to
inquire, and so, the desire to learn
Students have to find authentic problems, real
questions of importance to them
Bruce recommends what Charles Peirce called
musement, sitting still, pretending “not to be
looking”—until the really good question arises
“We need to build curriculum around the impulses
(or instincts) of the learner
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This is the information gathering process
Experience(s) -< experiment(s)
Dimensions of inquiry: intellectual, moral,
physical, aesthetic, and practical
Learners need to be imbued with curiosity -<
inquiry -< action
This process ought to be ‘owned’ by the
engaged learner
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Create what?
For Dewey (and Peirce) the answer is: create
meaning
By hands on learning
Through collaboration
By the learner making connections (critical
thinking involving seeing significant
relations)
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Inquiry is both personal and communal (“our
participation in social arrangements”)
So, this involves both listening to others with
an open mind, as well as “articulating our own
understandings”
Dialogue is dialogic: my thesis, your antithesis,
our synthesis
Sharing knowledge can lead to community
building (including online communities)
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(1) I could be wrong
(2) There is a “noble impulse” in you—and,
you could be right (and even if not, you are
trying your best)
We need to act “as if” it were yet possible to
establish the conditions that might result in the
growth of human-kind—”faith in humans”
“Every man is a part of mankind”—John Donne
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“Only the inquirer can recognize the
indeterminate situation and . . . [s]ay whether it
has been transformed into an unified whole”
Then each of us—individually and as
communities—need “to move from new
concepts into action”
Naturally, this may lead to further inquiry (so,
the ongoing circle of inquiry)—but perhaps
some positive good will have already been
accomplished
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Reflect on experiences; understand oneself as
well as the world around
Ask meaningful questions; formulate one’s
own goals
Investigate through multiple sources and
media
Create, actively transform the world
Discuss with others, collaborate

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