In their investigations, teachers and children live and breathe the subject of their inquiry; they become researchers, and their work fosters a variety of perspectives and supports and nurtures a multitude of learning styles. For example, one class was very interested in getting a classroom pet. Their classroom activities became research to find out what kind of pet would be a good match, and the children explored the topic in a range of ways: through pretend pets and veterinarian play in the dramatic play area, researching pets on iPads, interviewing a veterinarian, using math to tally the pros and cons of each candidate for a classroom pet, building habitats and pet stores with blocks, playing an animal sorting game, and reading books about pets.
As Confucius famously wrote about the nature of instruction and human learning, “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.” Inquiry-based instruction is a teaching approach that involves the learner with appropriate scaffolding. Fay’s Pre-Kindergarten students learn how to figure out answers to their own questions and to solve problems.Download: Pre-Kindergarten Course Overview