The key to a successful academic experience is having your students engage with the material that they are learning, which is why inquiry-based learning has become such a popular approach at almost any international school in Dubai. The traditional classroom approach can cause many students to lose interest in the scope of the teaching programme, and that is why teachers at schools such as the Ambassador International Academy place emphasis on allowing students to become active participants in their learning. Learn more about inquiry-based learning and how it can benefit your child below.
What is Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL)?
Inquiry-based learning is a learning approach that is focused on the student’s role in the classroom. Where traditional teaching and learning approaches saw teachers telling students what they needed to learn and expecting them to memorise certain material, inquiry-based learning engages the student in the process and encourages him or her to ask questions, share their own ideas, and explore the learning material provided through a learn-by-doing approach. This innovative method of learning can be implemented in many ways, including guided learning, group discussions and exploration.
How Can Inquiry-Based Learning Benefit My Child?
Your child can benefit greatly when attending an international school in Dubai that encourages inquiry-based learning like the Ambassador International Academy.
Some of the benefits of this unique learning style include the following:
- Inquiry-based learning nurtures a student’s unique talents, perceptions, passions and ideas.
- It increases student learning and engagement in the classroom.
- Students acquire a deeper understanding of the learning material, with inquiry-based learning fostering a culture of curiosity and a love for learning.
- It places importance on students playing an active role in their own learning process.
- Inquiry-based learning strengthens a student’s research skills and makes the research process even more meaningful.
- It demonstrates the importance of asking questions that are meaningful.
Inquiry-based learning at the Ambassador International Academy provides students with the opportunity to increase their critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills in the classroom and beyond. Additionally, students will form better relationships with their peers and thus learn essential socio-emotional skills. All of these are vital to students being successful in their tertiary education and future careers.
What is Required to Implement an Inquiry-Based Learning Approach?
While this learning style is a dynamic one, there are a few fundamental factors that will need to be instilled in order to make it a successful process. Teachers will need to start by assessing a student's prior learning in terms of both skills and knowledge. This is done through formative assessments during lessons that include levelled questions ranging from easy to difficult. Teachers further individualise learning through the triangulation of internal and international benchmark assessment data to identify individual starting points, thereafter creating inquiry-based activities aimed at supporting and/or challenging learning.
Teachers will also need to be spontaneous and open-minded when asking questions, and guiding a lesson or discussion. This will ensure that where students may deviate slightly from the main question, teachers are able to build on it by encouraging further discussion and thought among the students. Any international school in Dubai looking to implement inquiry-based learning in classrooms will also need to provide teachers with a substantial amount of support where the specific curriculum being utilised does not necessarily encourage a deeper understanding. In this case, teachers will need support to structure the content in such a way that it promotes inquiry and critical thinking among students while also being allowed to take the time to make sure lessons are applicable to the inquiry-based learning approach.
How Can Teachers Implement Inquiry-Based Learning?
IBL will require a varied approach according to the grade and level of understanding of the students, but there are many ways in which teachers can effectively introduce IBL in their classroom environment. Teachers can encourage the use of technology to support the ideas and arguments of students. Specific topics within the curriculum can also be focused on, encouraging students to further expand on their knowledge of a topic.
Additionally, students can be encouraged to make use of various guides found in a local library or online, conduct interviews with their peers or a parent at home, create reports based on their findings, and present their ideas/findings to the classroom via a presentation.
The Ambassador International Academy is an IB World school that makes use of the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework to guide lessons designed by teachers based on the curriculum we use. Our students are exposed to a curriculum and framework that encourages them to play an active role in their learning process, and explore various ideas through asking questions, discussing new concepts, learning from their peers, and ensuring they remain open-minded to the ideas of other students and their teachers.
Contact us today to book a school tour for the upcoming academic year or to make an inquiry about our esteemed educational institution.