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Inquiry-based learning

Ann Marie OBrien

English Matters
Dublin 2017
Inquiry Learning
A learner-centred approach driven by a process of
enquiry that emphasises higher order thinking skills

Inquiry learning has several forms including analysis,

problem solving, discovery and creative activities

Students are responsible for processing the

data they are working with in order to reach
their own conclusions
Inquiry Learning
Starting point students current understanding

Goal active construction of meaning through:

questioning, researching information, collecting data
and reporting findings ...
Value of Inquiry Learning
Develops students literacy skills, research skills and
learning skills (critical thinking, creative thinking,
teamwork and communication)

Promotes active involvement of students in learning that

is relevant, challenging and social

Helps students to become independent and responsible


Enables the teacher to assess student understanding of

Four Stages of Inquiry
Stage 1: Exploring
What do we already know? What do we want
to find out? What questions do we need to

Stage 2: Investigating
How are we going to find out about this? How
are we going to record our data?
Four Stages of Inquiry contd.
Stage 3: Processing
Analysing the information, evaluating ideas,
organising and synthesising findings

Stage 4: Creating
Presenting the results of the enquiry,
transferring learning to new contexts and
Useful references
Project Work
4 inquiry-based projects

Each project will explore one of the following


- Reading for enjoyment in Ireland

- The Irish language

- Irish clothing and jewellery today

- Traditional Irish food

Resources to support learning
Timetabled sessions (time for practice) with
relevant information provided


Dublin city its people and buildings etc.

Course tutor
Additional website for Irish
Clothing project

Dunnes Stores, an Irish owned retail chain, now sells

clothes that have been designed by a selection of
leading Irish designers e.g. Paul Costelloe, Lennon
Courtney, Carolyn Donnelly, Paul Galvin. The clothes
are available to buy at affordable prices.
A suggested plan of action
Planning time:

Write questions for each of your vox pops.

Look at the websites listed for each topic for some background

Allocate a certain amount of time to spend on investigating each


Form groups and decide particular shop visits for each group.

Field work:

Go out onto the streets and/or into certain shops and talk to people,
take photos and make recordings.