Throughout this week I have been looking at ways to guarantee that my Inquiry Based Lesson appropriately engage my students, why also challenging them. With that in mind I stumbled across an instructional model published by the Biological Science Curriculum Study. This study boils down every lesson to five simple ideas, called the 5E’s. These 5E’s are Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. If you develop a lesson with the specific purpose of incorporating all 5E’s, then your lesson is on its way towards being Inquiry Based. This educational model has been proven scientifically to work. On a number of different studies significant increase have been shown when teachers use this model as the basis for their instruction. To see the actual results that I am referring to click on this link and examine page 35 of the report.
In today’s digital world the use of technology in any lesson allows for you to more easily engage the students in the lesson. By purposefully choosing technology that targets your goals at each of the 5E’s you can guarantee your students will be interested, at least somewhat. With engagement the academic goals you are trying to achieve are easier, because the students want to learn. This means that even if your lesson is not the best you have ever taught, your educational goals can still be achieved because your students will take ownership of their learning. I know that to me this is a relief, especially because I am the type of person that is hyper focused on always completing steps in a process.
The way that I think is pretty straight forward, I need a plan to follow and once that plan is clear to me I can dive in head first and accomplish anything. With that in mind, I have to tell you that this discovery of the 5E’s has proven to be a real help to me. Knowing that there is a simple framework for me to follow to guarantee the correct structure to my lesson has proven to be just the thing that I needed to get me going with the development of lessons. To see exactly the lesson that I am referring to please examine the website that I created to showcase the 5E’s at work.
Finally, I will leave you with some sayings that have really struck me as I have progressed through my knowledge of Inquiry Based Learning. They do not exactly tie into this particular post but instead have come to be a kind of mantra that I think to myself as I work through my lessons.
“It is okay to fail, it is even expected”
When people ask how to motivate every student for these types of lessons just respond, “I don’t know, how do you motivate those students every day when you are teaching?”
By keeping these ideas in my head as I try my new style of teaching I am more confident in what I am doing, and after all it is okay to fail.