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ERIC Number: ED355539
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Language and the Inquiry-Oriented Curriculum.
Wells, Gordon
This paper argues that the goals of education, whether in university or kindergarten, are not achieved by the one-way transmission of knowledge, but through a dialogue between teacher and learner which has as its aim the co-construction of meaning in relation to tasks and topics of mutual interest and concern. The paper first addresses how the ideal educational environment casts learners as participants rather than spectators because the making of meaning is always part of a larger activity, and it is the purpose of this activity that provides the motivation for the meaning-making and for the framework of relevance within which the meanings can be evaluated for their validity and utility. How understanding starts with a real question which does not necessarily include a clearly formulated statement of the problem, but nevertheless transforms the manner in which new information is dealt with is next considered, and a workable model for an inquiry-oriented classroom is presented. It is proposed that schooling amounts to a cultural apprenticeship in which students learn about ways of acting and thinking that constitute the intellectual resources of the culture of which they are a part; in this context the role of discourse in inquiry and the role of the teacher in an inquiry-oriented classroom are also discussed. The paper concludes by considering how the model of inquiry-based learning can be applied to a variety of subjects and grade levels. Two figures and one table are included. (Contains 33 references.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A