Inaugural Inquiry Based Learning Cluster Meeting
Dr Adrienne Watson, Deputy Head: Curriculum Innovation and Research, St Stithians Girls’ Preparatory, and Ms Renee Koch, Head of Project Based Learning, Redhill School book-ended proceedings. Dr Watson’s presentation, Feet on the Ground and Eyes on the Stars: the What and the Why of IBL, provided the context for this kind of learning. She divided her presentation into (a) the ‘stars’, the concepts which we want our pupils to understand, (b) the ‘grounding’ of the assessment process and, finally, (c) the planning of the lessons, the ‘play’ aspect.
Ms Renee Koch demonstrated in The Paradox of Structure and Self-directed Learning: Motivation, Theory, Practice how pupils can be encouraged to explore/take risks/think effectively and creatively. She equated uncertainty with creativity and unlimited possibilities. Although pupils need constraints, they definitely require choice.
Marivon Booysen, Grade 4 Coordinator: St Stithians Girls’ Preparatory, and Mr Sean Creamer, Grade 5 Teacher: St Peters Boys’ Preparatory, both discussed how they had used IBL in their respective schools. Mrs Booysen’s presentation, An Emotional Approach to IBL: a Teacher’s Reflection on a Journey of Growth and Discovery for All, had pupils exploring sound and vibrations and a number of subjects, including music and art, could play a role. Sean Creamer focused his boys on the concept of energy and combined IBL and Mind Maps. It was most exciting to see IBL in action in two different schools.