Integrated inquiry is an approach that requires students to actively investigate significant questions, issues and ideas about ‘the way the world works’. It invites students to construct understandings through rich and strategic learning experiences. Through integrated inquiry, students are encouraged to ‘learn about learning’ and to develop the skills and strategies needed for investigating, communicating, applying and transferring understandings.
At PLPS the inquiry approach to learning is based on the belief that students are powerful learners who should be actively engaged in the process of investigating, processing, organising, synthesising, refining and extending their knowledge within a topic. The inquiry approach involves:
- planned and direct experiences that provide opportunities for students to pose questions and gather information
- activities that assist students to organise new information and use skills in a way that assists them to form concepts and generalisations about their world
- opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learnt
At PLPS our units of inquiry generally have the following characteristics incorporated into the planning and structure. They:
- are student created and directed
- emphasise process and skill development
- require students to ask questions
- are conceptual based rather than factual
- usually involve negotiation with students
- encourage learner interaction
- build upon students’ prior knowledge
- utilise and consider students’ interests
- include direct experiences
- integrate reflection and metacognition.