CJ 6 : Inquiry based learning

A method that is being pushed in the schooling system is the concept of inquiry based learning for the students.  To simply this, I’ll describe it as students doing what THEY want to do.  With inquiry based learning, the emphasis is on the student to decide what route they would like to take with their learning or project.  The uses of inquiry based learning know no bounds, but I would like to focus on how it can add to environmental education.

With environmental education, I perceive it more as way of thinking that a strict curriculum.  Environmental education teaches us how to take responsibility for our actions, how to plan for the future, but most importantly it teaches us how to live in the moment.  All to often we get weighed down by societal norms, but by taking the time to enjoy your surroundings and the beauty of nature one can escape those shackles.  I believe environmental science is something that can be included into all subjects, similar to inquiry based learning.

Inquiry based learning is a cycle where one can begin at any step.  There are no set paths one has to take, only suggested routes.  With inquiry frameworks, the students can take any task and mold it into a creation of their own.  It is during the process that a student can stumble across many revelations that otherwise they may never have encountered.  During the inquiry cycle I lived in ESCI 302, my path along inquiry took me everywhere.  What started as a journey with no set direction slowly but surely became a focused trek towards reducing emissions.  Thanks to the inquiry framework we used, I lived many experiences that I shall never forget.  I merely hope that my students will share similar experiences as I did with inquiry based learning.

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