Enquiry Learning Needs Overhaul, Post

Enquiry Learning Needs Overhaul

Enquiry Learning Needs Overhaul as it is not working well. Information needs to be presented to students in an orderly and structured way. Enquiry methods do not allow for this.

Some academics and teachers include practical tasks in Enquiry Learning. If it is included, it has always been with us. Taking a flower apart. Looking at a battery. Turning a snail over.  Yet most students do their Enquiry Learning on the internet.

Other Posts on Enquiry: Enquiry Learning Lacks Research, Post
And another: Enquiry Tasks Have Pitfalls, Science


1 — Information should be pitched to children’s level of language and maturity. At the moment, the internet pitches whatever information children land on. Much of it is over their heads.

2 — Students can drink in great amounts of  information in the first 6 or 7 years of their formal education. As they mature, they:

            • manage the information
            • question it
            • move it around
            • discuss it
            • write about it, and
            • use it to solve problems.

3 –This phase of learning is about relationships between facts. Students need to have reached this stage before they can do enquiry learning to advantage. 

4 — Students need basic facts first. Teachers can present a “whole-class introduction” to a topic. Define the boundaries of the Enquiry task. Review students’ plan for their Enquiry. Then let the Enquiry task start.

5 — The challenge for teachers and schools is to pick the right time to introduce Enquiry Learning. There is some debate about this.


 The problem needs to be refined. There is a problem introducing this method to primary school children but there appear also to be problems with the way teachers manage Enquiry tasks. Let’s hope it is not too long before these issues are ironed out.

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