Monday, 4 June 2012

 Is the learners understanding of the inquiry process relevant for effective learning?

Today was the third day at the WSL Chiangmai workshop. The focus of the day was an inquiry activity that would help the learners( me and my group members)  achieve an understanding of a concept. Oh , sometimes I do get caught in the academic jargon. And I often wonder whether explicit understanding of the inquiry process by the learner is important for learning?

Do six year olds have to understand this?

The child in the fairy scientist video that we watched during the day

 had a good understanding of the inquiry process though she may not have used the academic jargon....hypothesis, investigation etc Yet I wonder how important is it for the learner to understand the inquiry process? There is no doubt that understanding and facilitating of the inquiry process by the teacher is important in bringing depth to the understandings of the learner.

I am reminded of the TED talk given by Sugata Mitra, “Can children teach themselves’

It is a powerful reminder of how kids who have no facilitator and no formal training in any newly discovered inquiry process can also achieve effective learning. Sometimes learning can be kept very simple and perhaps away from all the academic jargon that so confuses me.

So is it relevant for the learner to understand the process of inquiry?


  1. It was great to meet you and learn with you, Metty.
    Learning can take place without any guidance, facilitation or jargon. However, an awareness of HOW they are learning can enhance the learning experience. Are you familiar with Dylan William? Take a look at what he says about metacognition in the learning process.
    While you are right that the terminology isn't what's important, it does help if learners have the language to talk about their learning.

  2. Hi Edna,
    I do agree with you that learners are better equipped for reflecting and sharing their learning if they have the language for sharing. Dylan William too talks of metacognition, that powerful learning takes place when learners begin managing their learning. In Sugata Mitra's video the learners were creating their own language for sharing their learning and that I think is taking reflection to the next level by creatively designing the reflection and sharing as they had not been formally equipped with the formal language.

  3. Yes, you're right. Although... Sugata Mitra's learners are constructing meaning about 'content'. Do you think having the language to talk about 'process' is valuable?