Discovery Learning is not a preordained system of questions and answers that children memorize within the confines of school

, rather it is a process in which children are guided to questions and the discovery of new knowledge.

As a teacher responsible for the growth and development of a classroom of children one of my objectives would be that they make a personal connection to the material we learn in class. Involvement with the content is essential for the children to own the new knowledge and be able to recall outside of class for applications in other aspects of life. I feel that one of the most effective ways to facilitate this type of learning is through an “inquiry and discovery” approach. This philosophy allows the children to inquire about aspects of the material that naturally pique their curiosity and encourages them to search for answers and solutions themselves. This process fosters independence and a child’s intrinsic thirst for knowledge. Not only will I make connections between the materials in the classroom and life outside I will also integrate subjects into each other. For instance if we are doing unit on Weather then I will endeavor to make a connection to Weather in every lesson in every subject. In Reading we will read stories about tornadoes and hurricanes. Our vocabulary words might include meteorological terms and the names of different types of clouds. In science we could chart the local weather, or learn some basic weather prediction techniques, and discuss the water cycle and how it relates to weather patterns. In Math we would research the speed of winds in a tornado, or figure out how much precipitation our area gets in a year and multiply that to figure out how much we would get in a decade, then we could compare that number to a rainforest. It would also be interesting and relevant to calculate the insurance rates for flood, tornado or hurricane insurance. Social Studies and History would include discussions of how the weather has affected humans past and present along with specific examples. There are countless ways to include Art and Movement activities with a Weather theme. By teaching a thematic unit you present information the way that children will come across it later in life: as a topic with many interdisciplinary aspects. The inquiry and discovery approach will come naturally as children wonder “how can we predict the weather” or “why can’t we grow pineapples

outside in Montana” one question will lead to another and segwaybetween subjects- just like it does in life outside the classroom. With this approach it is important to acknowledge the process and not just the final result. And while it is necessary to give objective written tests it is also important to consider the improvement of the individual. Too much emphasis on

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