Professional Development (PD): Inquiry Learning with Kath Murdoch
We have been waiting a long time for this PD and our primary staff were so excited to continue and extend their learning with this session.
This term, forfeited their long weekend to spend the day at school with Kath Murdoch, a widely respected leader in the field of Inquiry Learning in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 20 years.
Kath began her professional life as a classroom teacher in Melbourne. Her fascination in how students’ constructed their understandings – and her interest in the way questions and big ideas could drive curriculum soon lead to a passion for inquiry based methodologies.
Over the past decade, the phenomenon of inquiry-based learning has come to shape the framework of modern learning practices. Backed by decades of research and with explicit applications across the Australian National Curriculum, it is safe to say that inquiry-based learning is at the core of 21st century learning. Gone are the days where students are seen as passive recipients of knowledge and teachers are viewed as static transmitters of facts. Today’s 21st century classroom is all about knowledge construction, probing students to independently and collaboratively learn through the process of exploration, investigation, research, pursuit and study. Inquiry-based learning emphasises a hands-on, minds-on teaching and learning approach whereby students and teachers share the responsibility in the learning process. It advocates the importance of thinking in order to create meaning, working to increase intellectual engagement and foster deep understanding.
Kath’s presentation was engaging and inspiring, igniting a spark in many of us. The following day one teacher wrote “That was a great PD. It was one of those rare ones where I walked out thinking, ‘I wish we had another day of Kath to go deeper.'”