Skills of Inquiry Learning

Reynolds (2009) says that it is important to provide a range of skills for students to help them make full use of inquiry learning. The inquiry learning skills not only can be used in HSIE but for other KLA’s. Reynolds (2009) continues to explain that by using the inquiry learning skills across the program and other KLA’s it will help to enhance the students ability in research skills and posing and developing questions that relate to topics of interest and will help to engage them in their learning more deeply. The following inquiry learning skills have been taken from Reynolds (2009) and include:

Information Processing Skills:

This skill requires the students to bring together the researching skills needed to collect information. These include using library skills, using the internet, being able to take notes, selecting key pieces of information from research that is relevant to what they are investigating and being able to categorise this information in range of different ways as well as gathering information from a range of sources.

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills:

This skill requires the students to look at the information gathered and to determine the quality of this information and use it to generate ideas in meaningful ways.

As sited in Reynolds (2009) Dr Richard Paul says that critical thinking is the basis of critical questioning. He continues to explain that there are three types of questions that teacher can provide their students, one being one answer questions, another asking the students to give a particular view on a question and the last requiring the answer to provide evidence that goes with the answer.

Reynolds (2009) says that encouraging creative thinking involves skills and attitudes through “accepting and encouraging by emphasising that everyone is capable of creativity in some form and thinking techniques such as brainstorming.

Communicating Skills:

Communicating skills are extremely important in the inquiry learning process as it not only can be used in the HSIE KLA but across all other KLA’s as an important contributor to the students learning and ability to develop deeper thinking skills. Some examples of communicating skills include:

  • Brainstorming
  • Web charts
  • Y-charts
  • Mind maps
  • Group work
  • Questioning

Which are to only name a few. There are a whole range of communication strategies that can be used in the classroom keeping in mind that all students are different so a variety is important to keep students engaged.

Reflective and Metacognitive Skills:

In the inquiry learning process reflective skills is one of the most important skills needed. It should be used at the beginning of a topic or new focus in learning, during the learning and importantly after the learning has occurred. It is essential that teachers encourage the students to use the reflection process as it will help to develop their deeper learning on a topic.

Metacognitive skills enables the students to use problem solving skills and allows the students to self monitor their progress in their own learning.

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