Discovering Place turned back the clock and became students with inquiring minds – at least for a few moments – at last month’s Inquiry-Based Learning workshop, held at For-Mar Nature Preserve in Burton. 

Dorothy McLeer, a naturalist at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, encouraged educators to ask question while exploring the collection of wildlife at For-Mar’s arboretum.  

The hands-on experience was both a technique that can be used in the classroom, and an illustration that helped bring to life the concepts McLeer discussed during the workshop (see her presentation here).

Inquiry-Based Learning, also known as Inquiry-Based Teaching or Instruction, helps teachers guide students into investigating real-world questions, according to the Northeastern Illinois University site.

NIU says the benefits of IBL include:

  • teaching problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and disciplinary content,
  • promoting the transfer of concepts to new problem questions,
  •  teaching students how to learn and building self-directed learning skills, and
  • developing student ownership of their inquiry and enhancing student interest in the subject matter.

Teachers and partners to discuss IBL video at Nov. 17 workshop

To build on the Inquiry-Based Learning concepts presented last month, teachers and partners are reviewing a video workshop produced by Annenberg Learning and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in order to exchange feedback at the Nov. 17 professional development workshop. Please access the video series here: Out of respect for everyone’s busy schedule, we are asking teachers to connect with other teachers in your building and divide up the videos (1 per teacher is fine), then meet together at your school for 20-30 minutes to discuss content.

Notes for teachers:

1. Please feel free to invite teachers from your building to watch the videos and join the meeting, even if they aren’t part of Discovering Place.

2. If you have only a few teachers in your building participating in the Discovering Place program, you will need to watch only one video per person, starting at the beginning of the series.

Notes for partners:

1. Please watch at least one video from the series, since we would like you to participate in the exchange at our Nov. 17 workshop.

2. Feel free to share the video content with anyone who may be interested!

Cheat Sheet (shhh…)!  If you’re short on time (and who isn’t?), here are two ways to learn more about the video you will be discussing.

1. Scroll down the page, find the video you will be reviewing and read the excerpts.

2. Left-click on the video icon to start the video, left-click to turn on closed captioning (top right corner), then left-click on the bar along the bottom to fast-forward through the video.

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