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Local school seeks experts from various fields for ‘inquiry’ learning

SALEM - Beginning this spring, staff at Salem Public School are hoping to connect community experts to classrooms through the Wellington Advertiser.

Classrooms at the local school have begun to explore “learning through inquiry,” which allows the teacher and students to become co-learners based on inquiries from students.

School officials say allowing students’ interests to drive programming “makes for engaged and invested learners who take ownership over their learning.”

Teachers say the process promotes curiosity and connectedness to the world and, “most importantly, ignites a passion for learning.”

Inquiry combines multiple areas of the curriculum with hands-on and authentic tasks with a focus on investigation and building knowledge through sharing.

Some of the school’s inquiry projects this year have focused on gardening, trips across Canada, creating a cardboard village, flight, and investigating nature.

Salem teachers, as they see questions emerge from students, will now begin to “advertise” for community members with specific knowledge or experience in certain areas.

For example, one kindergarten class has begun an inquiry on exploring the local environment at the Salem park and is looking for special guests with knowledge about birds, rivers or bridges (email to assist).

Students will brainstorm questions ahead of time and the teacher will provide the questions along with guidelines to the special guest.

Prospective experts can watch the Advertiser’s classified sections over the next couple of months and into next year to see if they are the expert the school is seeking.

School officials say they look forward to “celebrating the knowledge and experience” in the community.

May 31, 2013


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