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In the "Explanation" section, you started to learn about what inquiry-based learning is. In this section, we will show you real-life examples of inquiry being used In classrooms and schools, as well as some sample "facilitation plans" that you might use in your own classroom.
Inquiry in action
In classrooms
In schools
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Inquiry in action

In classrooms

In these video clips, teachers are using inquiry-based learning in real classrooms.

Transcript
In this clip, Andrea, a fifth grader at Fogelsville Elementary School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, describes how fun and effective it was for her to learn about the physics principle of inertia through inquiry. Her teacher, Winnifred Bolinksy, says she thinks helping students find joy in learning is the most important task for educators. She shows how hands-on experiences are important in helping students connect ideas to the real world and to each other.
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Transcript
Lisa Nyburg is a third- and fourth-grade teacher at Brattain Elementary School in Springfield, Oregon. In Part 1 of this clip, she discusses two of the main threads of inquiry-based learning: the content and the processes (like learning to work together). Nyburg warns that trying to introduce new content and new processes at the same time can be overwhelming to students and counterproductive. Instead, in Part 2, she recommends that when teachers introduce kids to new processes, the content of the lesson should be easy to understand.

The following clips illustrate an inquiry-based science lesson in action.
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Transcript
In Part 1, Jane Morton, a second- and third-grade teacher at Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington, discusses planning the inquiry-based lesson on "mystery substances." In Part 2, Morton's students discuss how they will observe the substance and what types of information they might need to gather.

Transcript
Here, the students, in small groups, observe the sample and discuss its properties. Morton comments on how she deliberately chose a substance for this lesson that would not be familar.


Part 1 of 2 Part 2 of 2
Transcript
In Part 1 of this clip, Morton introduces the idea that the students will be contacting a scientist via e-mail, and she prompts the students to think about what types of questions they want to ask. The students suggest a variety of questions for the scientist in Part 2. Morton discusses the usefulness of e-mailing with experts as a way to reinforce inquiry.


Part 1 of 2 Part 2 of 2
Transcript
In Part 1, Steve, a park ranger at Cougar Mountain Park, guides the class on a field trip in the woods. They look at various substances and try to determine what they are. In Part 2, Morton discusses the children's questions and how, while the students may not be able to answer all of them, these questions offer a way of becoming excited about learning about the world.




In schools

The following are examples of schools that incorporate aspects of inquiry-based learning:

School
Rutherford High School, New Jersey
http://www.rutherford.k12.nj.us/RHS/index.html
This high school uses an approach to inquiry called the "Future Problem Solving Program" (see the "Explanation" section for a definition). In teams, students compete in a statewide contest to come up with compelling solutions for complex problems. The school won the statewide contest in 1994 and took third place in 1997. Inquiry is built into the curriculum, and students use interactive technology and an interrelated curriculum to enhance their learning skills. The school's Web site includes curriculum information and links to some of the students' projects in various subject areas.

SchoolKent Gardens Elementary School, McLean, Virginia
http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/KentGardensES/
This public school combines inquiry-based learning with a multiple-intelligences approach. It offers a French-language immersion program in which students learn math and science in French while studying social studies and language arts in English. Fifth and sixth graders produce their own morning TV-news show that is broadcast throughout the school. There is also a math lab, which allows students to work on real-world math problems in an interactive environment. The Web site provides a link to a Harvard University site that covers the school's "Think Tank" room, an area where students use inquiry to develop knowledge about various subjects.

SchoolRogers Elementary School, Rogers, Ohio
http://www.beaver.k12.oh.us/beavr.htm
This public school includes one of the goals of inquiry in its mission statement: "Helping students to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to become life-long learners." Inquiry is used throughout the curriculum. Students have access to five computers in each classroom. The school also schedules "Totally Outrageous Activity Days (TOAD)," which are whole days of hands-on activities in science, social studies, and health.




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Workshop: Inquiry-based Learning
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