Before we begin…

Photo Image: Pixabay Creative Commons Attribution Licence 1.0 (CC0 1.0)

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. (Dr. Seuss, 1957/1990)

Professional Context

My career pathway led me to the adventure of teaching –  a path I have been following for the last 17 years. Currently, I’m a Brisbane Primary school teacher based in a large Bayside state school.  Most of my experience has been in upper primary, but I find myself this year in a job-share position teaching Year 2. During my career, I have experienced many changes in curriculum and educational thought from productive pedagogies, integrated units to standardised testing (NAPLAN) and data-driven, explicit practices.

It is this background, that has formed my current understanding of inquiry learning.  I believe inquiry learning to be a student-centred approach with the teacher acting more as a guide and facilitator of student learning. A hands-on approach that allows students to be an active participant and creator of their own knowledge. I have mainly observed inquiry learning in practise in the science and humanities curriculum areas.

Last year, I had the unique experience of teaching for a short-time in a discovery-learning school. Discovery learning is a very open and less guided form of inquiry learning and this experience has also influenced my current view of inquiry teaching. It is from this lens of experience I formulated the following three initial questions to guide my journey into inquiry learning:

  1. How does the role of the teacher and classroom management change with inquiry learning?
  2. How do you structure the physical learning environment to support inquiry learning?
  3. Is inquiry learning more suited to particular learning areas?

So in the spirit of Dr. Seuss, what I am I waiting for? It’s time to get on my way!


Reference: Dr.Seuss (1990). Oh, the places you’ll go! New York, NY: Random House. (Original work published 1957)