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Key principles
Facilitation plans for inquiry learning
Step-by-step facilitation-plan creation



Step-by-step facilitation-plan creation

The following is an outline for developing each step of an inquiry facilitation plan of your own. You can use the blank boxes to fill in your own ideas for your facilitation plan. The outline below starts with a focus on short-range activities, but most of what is outlined is appropriate for all ranges of activities.

1.   Learning Objectives and Expected Outcome
In this space, you should provide the focus of skills development for the lesson. These can include observation skills, research skills, synthesis skills, etc.

2.   Habits of Mind/Ground Rules Being Emphasized
List the rules of the discipline being studied that you wish to reinforce here. For example: in science, these would include particular aspects of the scientific method; for English, these would include literary ideas and ideals.

3.   Conceptual Theme Most Important to This Lesson
In this space, include the themes that connect the lesson to previous lessons and the important ideas in the framework of the discipline that you wish to stress. Examples could include the way the discipline explores change, the way it makes connections between one idea and another, or the way theories or ideas can be applied to different levels of analysis.

4.   Specific Content
List here the content that your students need to know by the end of the lesson. You may want to include the academic standards you are seeking to meet here as well.

5.   Sources and Resources Needed/Available
Note sources here like libraries, professional journals, local colleges/universities, the Internet, other professionals, etc. Also list any materials you may need.

6.   Potential Roadblocks to Learning
List any problems you see with helping students learn this material. Also list possible solutions. Include several alternatives. This section will grow as you progress.

7.   Inquiry Attributes Already Possessed by Learners
Answer the questions here as a guide for preassessment and taking the learners to the next level:

  • What are the skill levels of the learners?
  • What nurtured habits of mind do the learners possess?
  • What are the levels of conceptual understanding of the learners?
  • What are the levels of content understanding of the learners?

8.   Questions and Types of Questions to Be Raised and Explored
Fill in here the main questions that you hope learners will explore, bearing in mind the various types of questions (inference, questions about hypotheses, etc.).

9.   Ongoing Assessment
Once students have begun to explore the questions and content of the lesson, observe them during the activity, examine aspects of their work, and find out where they are having difficulty. Make efforts to judge each learner's progress from where he/she started to where he/she has progressed. Keep records of this progress for later comparisons.

10.   Appropriate Sources and Resources to Effectively Monitor Progress


Feature

Tim O'Keefe of the Center for Inquiry Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina, argues that educators should do a better job of tapping into children's natural curiousity through methods like inquiry.

List here the ways you will assess your students at the end of the activity (i.e., reports, exams, etc.).

11.   Professional Preparation
List here things that you, as a teacher, need to find out before starting this lesson.

12.   Long-Range, Medium-Range, and Short-Range Goals
Include here overall learning goals for the year (long-range), learning goals for the major units of study (medium-range), and learning goals for the specific learning experience (short-range).

13.   Plans to Help Advanced Learners Become Facilitators for Learners Needing Additional Help
Use this space to brainstorm ways to allow advanced students to work with others as the project or projects progress.

Final Note: Year after year, your facilitation plan will need to be altered and/or added to as you discover new ways of doing things and encounter different challenges and pitfalls. Just as inquiry learning is focused on constant learning, the facilitation plan undergoes constant change and enhancement. The professional planning for facilitation of inquiry learning is much like the process of inquiry learning itself.



Workshop: Inquiry-based Learning
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation

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