You don’t have to go too far these days before you hear IBL ~ Inquiry Based Learning. Simply stated, IBL is a process whereby the students’ interests and questions provide the springboard for the learning. Their curiosity becomes the catalyst for the gateway into the curriculum. If your students are enthralled with the world events, such as the earthquake in Nepal or a construction site that they passed on their way to school, the challenge for the teacher becomes taking that excitement and curiosity and blending it with learning activities that coincide with curriculum expectations. Passion projects and Genius Hour are also examples of IBL or Project Based Learning. Educators, who have embraced the concept of IBL, acknowledge the challenges, but they also see the benefits and are willing to learn alongside of each other and their students.
So…. In reflecting on Inquiry Based Learning and seeing first-hand the benefits, I started to think about Inquiry Based Leadership and what that might look like in a school setting. Do we purposefully create the conditions for our educators to be curious about something in their practice and if so, how do we effectively support that curiosity? When we think about ways of supporting educator learning, do we predetermine what that will look like or do we allow for “passion projects” and differentiate how we, as leaders, construct learning for our educators? We know that, just as the learning that happens in a classroom needs to be aligned with the curriculum, the learning of our educators needs to be aligned with our school and board improvement plans. How do we effectively navigate those discussions while still maintaining our educator’s passion/curiosity for professional learning?
And finally, in a world of Inquiry Based Leadership do we model our own curiosity and passion for wanting to learn the “why” behind achievement gaps, public perception of our schools, attendance rates etc.?
It may not be an earthquake or a cement mixer, but wanting to gain a deeper understanding of our world of educational leadership and knowing how to go about getting that deeper understanding is a skill that we all need to embrace.
Do you model curiosity with your class or with your staff?
Are you an Inquiry Based Leader?
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