The best schools in the Sonepat school list have been adopting the inquiry-based learning strategy that intends to flip the prevalent method of classroom teaching where the teacher asks the questions and the students are meant to answer. By reversing the direction of inquiry, such schools are looking to empower their students by placing them in the driver’s seat and making the faculty design lessons as per the children’s needs. Without a doubt, this approach is more engaging that helps the students to sharpen their critical thinking skills and leads to a better comprehension of the subject in hand.
But inquiry-based learning can only reap the desired results when the students are willing to ask questions and the queries they place are insightful in nature. Just like any other skill, the teachers cannot simply assume that asking productive questions will come naturally to the students. The skill has to be taught and properly nurtured. Here are 6 ways to do that.
- Clarify the need to ask questions first
Many students refrain from clearing their doubts owing to social anxiety. They get caught up in thoughts like “what will the teacher?” think or “what will my friends think?”. Thus, the primary step to promote inquiry-based learning and directing students to ask productive questions is to clarify the need to ask them in the first place. Teachers have to communicate that they are always willing to take questions from the students and how asking the right questions lead to better learning.
- Someone has to start
Although the core motive of inquiry-based learning may be to allow the students to ask the questions, not always will great questions come from them. Here, at times, the teachers have to step in and ask thought-provoking questions which raise the bar of the discussions of the classroom. The intention is to set an example for the students, to let them know what type of questions are entertained. This way, the students will really take it onto themselves to come up with queries that match the teacher’s level.
- Extend appreciation to good questions
When a student manages to ask a great question, which is indeed impressive by the class’s standard, appreciating the effort will encourage this student to continue to come up with good questions. Again, a pat on the back by the teacher will motivate others in the class to follow suit. Everyone will come in line to pitch their queries and the chain reaction of asking good questions will start. As the level of questions rises, the teachers can selectively hand out appreciation so that the curve always moves upwards.
- Pitch the students against each other
The top 10 school in Sonepat will never restrict the flow of questions between their students and teachers only. Peer-to-peer learning can also act to boost education and make space for productive questions in the classroom. Teachers can ask a student to give a presentation of a particular topic and then have a 10-minute Q&A session where the entire class can ask this student questions. Similarly, asking each other questions can become a quiz content where every team gets to ask the other difficult questions in order to win.
- Give a good question its deserved attention
As students continue to come up with more and more productive questions, it may not be possible for the teacher to entertain all immediately in the classroom. Neglecting or selective answering will only dishearten the students. Thus, teachers need to manage time for all without sacrificing time from the class. A few questions can be answered like “Meet me with this question after class” or “I will share an eBook with you that might help you”. These go on to show that the queries the students had are being valued.
- Let an answer lead to the next question
Productive questions come up when an idea is discussed, perspectives are shared, and more questions related to the mother topic are asked. An answer should not be the end to the question. The day boarding school in sonipat makes space for inquiry-based learning by having discussion sessions where one answer leads to the next question. Asking students to share their thoughts, allowing every possible idea to be discussed, all these acts together to encourage students to really listen and ask better questions.
Swarnprastha Public School, boarding school in sonipat teachers follow these strategies to help their students build the skill of asking productive questions. Insightful questions lead to in-depth research and recall of information that matters. SPS is highly skill-oriented and inquiry-based learning naturally fits into their curriculum. When a student starts asking good questions, it means he/she understands the subject. Curiosity, after all, is the stepping stone for better education.