Dancing in the Light: Essential Elements for an Inquiry Classroom
1 Jan 2012
Sustainability, globalization, the rapid growth of knowledge and the need for internationally minded citizens require a rethinking of education. Concept based inquiry learning has been offered for over a century as an alternative to traditional education centered on textbooks, invasive standardized testing and control external to the student. Yet the widespread change in teaching styles required to shift education to meet 21st century requirements has been sporadic at best. This book tells several stories. The fi rst is a teacher's journey to discover a different way of teaching and learning. The second is a summary of the theory used to explain and justify the change in pedagogy to the wider school community. The third are stories from student and teachers who practice inquiry learning. The result is a description of 6 essential elements for a successful inquiry learning environment. Although this research was conducted at a single school, it offers important insights for other schools who are considering change to a more constructivist, sustainable approach to education. Marcia Behrenbruch has taught at all levels of schooling from the early years to year 12. She has lived and worked in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Vietnam and Singapore. Most of her 15 years in school administration focused on curriculum innovation and facilitating change. She completed her doctoral studies at Melbourne Graduate School of Education and is currently a global head of professional development for an international not-for-profit educational organization.