Inquiry-based learning (IBL), a growing and prominent approach to teaching shifts the role of teachers from being the "sage on the stage" to becoming facilitators of learning. It empowers students to become problem solvers and critical thinkers. By allowing students to explore their own questions and make connections between diverse concepts, educators open the door to a deeper, more autonomous form of learning. In our recent podcast interview, Propello’s very own Lisa Thayne and Katie Hovanec join Amanda to discuss this student-centered approach that also happens to be a cornerstone of Propello's educational mission. Here are some highlights from the conversation:
Soaring Student Engagement
One of the most compelling benefits for adopting inquiry-based learning is its remarkable impact on student engagement. Lisa and Katie emphasized how this approach can ignite the spark of curiosity and capture students' attention. Through inquiry, learning becomes a dynamic, emotionally and socially engaging process. By allowing students to ask questions, explore ideas, and connect with real-world issues, educators create an environment where learning is not only informative but also deeply meaningful to the learners themselves.
Embracing the Discomfort of Growth
Change can be uncomfortable, but Lisa and Katie remind us that it is important to embrace discomfort when adopting new teaching methods. Inquiry-based learning is fundamentally different from traditional approaches, and it requires both educators and students to step out of their comfort zones. Mistakes are part of the learning process and should never deter us from trying innovative methods that can significantly enhance the educational experience. As they shared in the podcast, learning from these mistakes is a valuable part of the journey.
Finding Your Community
Inquiry-based learning doesn't happen in isolation. Lisa and Katie encourage educators to "find your people." There exists a vast community of like-minded educators eager to reimagine teaching and learning. Collaborative efforts can transcend the boundaries of individual schools or districts. By seeking out and connecting with fellow educators, whether through online forums, professional organizations, or platforms like Propello, you can share insights, strategies, and experience. With the support of a like-minded network, learning together, making mistakes together, finding innovative solutions together, and ultimately growing together becomes a much more inviting feat than doing it all alone.