The Transition From Learning To Inquiry Styles

My friend and creativity diva Michelle James posted a link to a great article this morning on how we need to rethink the assumption that students have different learning styles that must be accommodated in any pedagogy. The old conversation focuses on learning as reception of given information in any variety of media, ideally in varieties of media.

I propose that the new conversation needs to be about learning as active self-organizing based on the learner’s questions. Then we can talk about learner inquiry styles. I would favor an approach that wasn’t hierarchical but more actionable.

For example we can talk about a continuum of the quality of question variety students have in terms of the basic question forms of who, what, when, where, how, why, which, how long, how often, how many and what if.

This continuum would run from simple inquiry styles where students have only one form or type of question to rich inquiry styles where students have multiple forms. Teaching then facilitates students moving up the continuum toward increasingly richer inquiry styles.