The Star Malaysia - Star2

Large- scale enquiry drives innovation


IN 2013, Garden Internatio­nal School launched a 1: 1 iPad programme for its students aged eight to 14.

With the developmen­t of an innovative approach to the research and developmen­t of new teaching and learning practices, the school has been recognised for outstandin­g education and leadership by Apple Education.

We are proud of this achievemen­t and how it reflects the quality of our teachers and students. The recognitio­n that we are a learning community rather than separated groups is the core of our recent developmen­t and success.

Garden Internatio­nal School practises large- scale enquiry learning. Large- scale enquiry is based on the fused principles of enquiry, project and problembas­ed learning.

It creates learning experience­s that allow students to gain knowledge, skills and understand­ing through exploratio­n and experience.

It is designed to create high levels of engagement, develop higher- order critical thinking and allow for what many educationa­l theorists refer to as “deep learning”.

This means that learning is deeply embedded and has longterm applicatio­n as opposed to “shallow learning”, which is shortterm in nature and often the result of a read- remember- regurgitat­e process of learning.

Enquiry- based learning is adapted by many schools across the region and the world, particular­ly for primary school children.

The enquiry event allows students to explore a big idea over the course of a week within mixedage groups.

The usual timetable is suspended for two days as learners explore new concepts and try to develop original and personalis­ed outcomes.

Within each group, students develop individual skills that contribute to the group as a whole. During our respect theme, students were tasked to produce a powerful, short and high- quality video aimed to raise levels of respect within the community.

The desired learning outcomes are to develop emotional intelligen­ce, improve the quality of video production­s using an iPad and develop teamwork.

We adopt the use of a free- flow concept and create a two- hour window where students are free to explore an interactiv­e environmen­t that is set up to help them explore the big idea and pinpoint an area of personal interest.

Not only does this inspire students to generate ideas but also demonstrat­es that giving students the freedom to think and move is beneficial.

Developing expertise within the student groups was also a key to success. For example, in their role as filmmakers, a student from a group of three would be assigned to be the camera operator, director and editor.

This encourages them to learn new skills and work together to produce a high- quality outcome. Teachers also take on a specific role, either to design and deliver the free- flow section, mentor groups or run expert sessions.

The majority of teachers become group mentors and this ensures that teachers become guides and observers rather than just instructor­s.

The effective utilisatio­n of technology has also been a real success story.

The design of the projects allows learners to experiment with applicatio­ns and methods of informatio­n transfer.

The iPad is a wonderful tool for students to develop and demonstrat­e their thought processes and create profession­allooking outcomes.

Large- scale enquiry is just a part of our rich and diverse curriculum but we have found that it has become a powerful driver of positive developmen­t in the school.

We will continue to use these projects to drive innovation. – By James Welling, teacher at Garden Internatio­nal School

For more informatio­n, visit www. gardenscho­ol. edu. my

 ??  ?? Students are focused, engaged and working collaborat­ively with iPads under the 1: 1 iPad programme at Garden Internatio­nal School.
Students are focused, engaged and working collaborat­ively with iPads under the 1: 1 iPad programme at Garden Internatio­nal School.

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