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Barbara, S. (2008). Inquiry: Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

School Library Media Activities


Monthly; Vol. 25 Issue 1, p50.

The Inquiry Approach

Idalia Acosta
LBS 203 Section 01
Instructor Chris Eckert
California State University. Dominguez Hills
01, October 2014

There are many different methods a student may use in order to learn. Although there are
a variety of methods, a large amount of students narrow it down to only two; the rote approach
and the inquiry approach. Rote learning is memorization technique where an individual learns
material through repetition. The more he or she repeats information given the better they will be
able to quickly recall the meaning. On the contrary, and inquiry approach focuses on an
individuals interests, questionnaire, and hypothesis that will make he or she better understand
given information more rapid. Both approaches are extremely helpful and significant, although if
one wants an individual to further expand their knowledge, the rote learning may not be the best
choice.
Stripling states (2008), both experience and research tells us that students engage in
inquiry are more motivated to pursue learning on their own than students who are fed-organize
Information that they are expected to remember. (pg24). Attending High School in the years
2004-2007 seemed difficult when it came to certain subjects. Learning U.S History and World
History seemed impossible. The material felt boring and there were so many dates to remember. I
recall my teachers lecturing thirty to forty minutes, and then having the class read the book for
the remaining of the period; I wouldnt learn much. When the chapter exams swung by I grew
devastated for receiving low grades. My average ranged from forty to fifty -five percent. I
blamed the teachers, as well as the limited study I gave myself. Receiving low grades exam after
exam, I decided to compose flashcards to help me study, therefore improve my grades. Two
weeks before an exam I would write down the important dates, key words and significant names
of people who made a difference. Day after day I dedicated two hours of study. Memorizing
word for word on those flashcards, reading the front out loud, turning it over to review the back
then placing the card down without looking at it I would reiterate what I was able to remember.

As a result my grade improved from a fifty to an 80 percentage; sometimes it would even hit
ninety-eight to one-hundred. I was impressed and my self esteem grew enormously. Due to my
improvement I applied the same technique for all my classes. I can honestly say I obtain no
memory of what was embedded in those flashcards. Everything is distorted and a blur. It did not
cross my mind nor had it been brought to my attention up until now, attending college. I am
currently enrolled in California history and the professor mention that all this material should
have been familiar to us since history was introduce to a plenty of us years back. Rote learning
did help me pass my exams, however it did nothing to expand my learning. The moment my
exams were completed my mind had no use in storing information in. It had become short term
memory. I am on the verge of becoming a teacher and I obtain no understanding of the history of
our land in a chronological order.
The inquiry approach is the complete opposite. Stripling says (2008), The goal of
inquiry is not the accumulation of information; it is the exploration of significant questions and
deep learning. (pg24). Through inquiry approach one is not just observing information; one
understands the material being taught. I wouldnt need to be stamping word for word in my head
only to pass a class; I can read certain material and comprehend the use of it. For instance taking
biology the subject that contains complex terminology it may not be easy to absorb so much
information. By apprehending the usage of the terms and finding the connections to one another
the entire picture becomes clear. Some subjects may be less intriguing than others, thus making it
more difficult. It helps when the instructor and Stripling states, teaching students how, rather
than what to learn. (pg24). A professor can encourage an alumni to ask questions, think of
hypotheses, outcomes, that stimulates ones mind in order to broaden their thoughts.

The benefits on inquiry are immense. Stripling quotes (2008), throughout the process,
students reflect on what they are observing and finding out. They may change direction, and ask
new questions, challenge the inconsistencies they discover, seek new perspectives, and fill gapsin their information. (pg25). I acknowledge inquiry approach because I look forward in
applying it to my future students. I would like to think that each of my students can become the
next Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Galileo and many others that purse their
knowledge by cultivating it into an innovation for the world of today. As Stripling says (2008),
an inquiry approach will enhance the understanding of content and acquisition of life-long
learning skills. (pg26).