Inquiry-Based Learning Gives Children Good Reason to Ask Why
When a child is curious about a topic, it leads to learning! Encouraging imagination and inquiry in children from birth leads to young learners seeking out more information wherever they can–in books, online, in museums, or by asking their parents the age-old question: Why? It’s called inquiry-based learning. It’s learning that is driven by the questions students are most interested in having answered.
At school, teachers often set the stage for inquiry-based learning by giving students learning experiences first. A teacher may introduce a book, video, or game to spark ideas while guiding students to think of questions these things might inspire. He or she may also give students an opportunity to find answers to their questions by going on a field trip or watching more videos on the subject or reading more material on the topic.
Parents can encourage inquiry-based learning at home by providing learning materials that support and broaden current topics from the child's classroom. High-quality early childhood education happens in and out of the classroom! If children are studying dinosaurs in their elementary school class, parents can take a trip with them to the natural history museum, pretend to dig up dinosaurs in the backyard, or watch videos about the Cretaceous Period to learn how dinosaurs became extinct.
Parents can support inquiry in young children by encouraging them to be curious, to ask questions, and to look for answers. In turn, parents should also ask questions about the world they live in themselves and explore their answers together. Talk with your child about what he or she wants to learn more about in everyday life, like how food changes when it’s cooked, how plants and flowers grow, the weather, how a car or train is powered, or anything else he or she comes across in the world. Parents should answer questions as best they can, but if stumped, it’s a good opportunity for everyone to look for answers together!
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Inquiry-based learning is effective in school because students are engaged with their environment and the topic they’re studying. It helps kids understand that school can connect to the things they care about and help them find answers or provide them with even more information.
With this award-winning early childhood education program, families can access many high-quality Learning Activities, books, videos, and games on a wide variety of topics that prompt children to ask questions and discover ways to answer these questions. Finding subjects students are enthusiastic about is also beneficial in the education of young children, as it helps them want to know more about different topics! From art and music, to science, to health and nutrition, ABCmouse covers a wide range of subjects for preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.