Inquiry Learning

A Learning Inquiry at GWSC is an in-depth and scaffolded investigation in which students seek deep understanding through posing authentic, fertile questions.

An inquiry question is one that is open and charged with emotional, social, political and ethical implications. It undermines the student's existing perceptions and opinions, is rich in content, thought-provoking and practical. It is connected to learners, their interests, wider society, and to central concepts in the disciplines such as Science, Mathematics, English, Humanities and Health. This fosters deeper disciplinary understanding.

Teachers set the fertile question as part of establishing a context and framework in which to organise the inquiry, and students are guided to ask and inquire into their own research questions and sub-questions.

Learning inquiries offer possibilities for team teaching and collaborative curriculum development. Feedbacks from teams suggest that this approach to teaching and learning yields benefits on many levels. Teachers have often reported gaining deeper insights into their students, as well as being able to see their discipline within a wider context of learning at the College.

There are a number of Learning Inquires that run in the college. Some, such as "Who Am I?" at year 7, are multidisciplinary. Others are interdisciplinary inquiries, such as The 2020 Program which encompasses all Key Learning Areas at Year 9.

The purpose of Learning Inquiries at GWSC includes:

  1. To teach for deeper disciplinary understanding
  2. To provide a sustained learning focus
  3. To immerse students in the timely use of a range of skills and literacies in ICT, Communication and Thinking
  4. To involve students in learning that connects strongly with communities and practice beyond the classroom

How are Learning Inquiries Assessed?

Learning Inquiries incorporate the following three dimensions of assessment:

  • Assessment FOR Learning, such as an inquiry proposal
  • Assessment AS Learning, such as research findings
  • Assessment OF Learning, such as a final performance of understanding
Therefore, assessment is embedded within each stage of a learning inquiry and does not simply occur at the end of the unit.


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