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Is this an inquiry with an ‘I’ or an enquiry with an ‘e’?

Ripples & Reflections

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a while, and I was reminded to complete it after a question from a student when I was covering a TOK class: “What’s the difference between inquiry and enquiry?”

So here goes…

Defining Inquiry: A Pragmatic Approach

I’ve been thinking and writing about this a lot over the last few years, tinkering with and testing definitions that try to capture what makes powerful, pragmatic inquiry learning. He’s my current best effort and if you pick it apart you should be able to recognise the best elements of the classical with an aspiration towards the contemporary (in the Bold Moves sense).

Inquiry iscreative, critical, reflective thought. It builds on a solid foundation of accessible, well-learned knowledge, skills and conceptual understandings, inviting learners to take action on their learning and ask “what if…?”  

Although it…

View original post 1,118 more words

Six Strategies for Effective Learning

This post is to share some resources that are of great use for students and teachers, produced by the Learning Scientists (@AceThatTest) and Oliver Caviglioli. They are free (Creative Commons), downloadable, printable, practical, evidence-based and great for DP students.

In IBBio there is a lot to learn. To learn it well – to understand, apply and make connections – takes effort and discipline. But it can be done efficiently, effectively and enjoyably. These six strategies might help you in planning your studies (or designing your course).

  1. Spaced Practice
  2. Retrieval Practice
  3. Elaboration
  4. Interleaving
  5. Concrete Examples
  6. Dual Coding

The Learning Scientists also have a useful podcast and YouTube Channel to explain the strategies. See this example on Dual Coding. If you want to read more, they have an open-access paper “Teaching the Science of Learning” in Cognitive Research: Principles & Implications.

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Related Resources:

What Does This Look Like In The Classroom?, by Carl Hendrick & Robin MacPherson. A super-handy book on key strategies and research-to-practice, with Q&A’s from experts in many fields of education.

Learning How To Learn is a great 4-week course on Coursera, from UC San Diego. It would benefit teachers and students alike, and explores how we learn, the traps we fall into and how to learn effectively. This is great free professional learning. If you want to pay and take the assessment, you will get a UCSD certificate.

 

Crash Course: Statistics

Crash Course are at it again, this time with a new statistics course. This introduction might be interesting as you think about your IA’s. How do we understand what are data are telling us… and how do we design tests that will give us data that we can actually use?

I Contain Multitudes: Antibiotic Resistance

The wonderful Ed Yong now has a YouTube channel, I Contain Multitudes, that builds on his book of the same name. With PBS Digital support and great visuals, this is going to be a treasure trove for IBBio learners.

Here’s your gateway video: on superbugs and antibiotic resistance. Check out the experimental design and explanation about half way in. Thanks Ed!

TOK Questions 2018

They’re out!

How might you refer to the sciences as an area of knowledge in some of these questions?

Question source: IB OCC, September 2018

A Plastic Ocean. Genuinely Terrifying.

Streaming now on Netflix and available through other means, A Plastic Ocean is a terrifying (but well done) feature-length documentary on the rapidly growing crisis in the oceans as a direct result of human impacts.

IB Bio and ESS students will find many curricular connections in this movie, from food webs, water cycles and ocean currents to animal behaviour, biomagnification and endocrinology. Including the impact on human and animal health, this film raises and alarm and shows where we’ve gone wrong. There are some really insightful sections of scientists at work, where we can see “how we know what we know” and what actions are being taken. The final section has some fascinating solutions and actions. Give it a go.

Tanya Streeter, world-record freediver, narrates and is featured in much of the film. Her TEDx Talk tells a similar story.

Taking Action

Ocean plastics have really come into vogue the last couple of years, and it is a safe bet that someone near you is involved in taking action. From beach cleans, reef surveys and cleanups to campaigns to ban single-use plastics (chapeau, Costa Rica), plastic is clearly one of those issues that is indisputably – embarrassingly – human made.

What’s your school doing to reduce the scourge of plastic?

 

“Levels of Why?” Graphic Organizer

Levels-of-Why

Levels of Why – click to download a pdf

This is a graphic organiser developed to help students move from outline or describe into explain.

  1. Begin with stating the situation, change or process.
  2. What is the surface explanation or reason?
  3. Why does that occur?
  4. What about that?

And so on…

A worked example is on this page.

Chasing Coral

Beautiful and terrfiying in equal measure, this is a good new documentary on Netflix for thinking about the relationships between human actions and ocean health, as well as some good technical stories of collecting footage and data. Great visuals and explainers for symbiosis and how the corals “work”.

Capturing the Criteria & “Zooming In”

Hans Rosling (1948-2017)

“Fame is easy to acquire, impact is much more difficult.”

Hans Rosling, 1948-2017 (Guardian, 2003)

Hans Rosling, public health guru, statistics wizard, creator of Gapminder and presenter of the best TED Talks of all time (playlist), has sadly died, way too young. Any long-term user of i-Biology.net will know what a fanboy I am, and there are many posts and pages on this site – from Bio content to MYP and TOK – that reference his work and talks.

He will be missed but his work, more important now than ever before, will live on.

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We’re lucky to be in this world. Don’t be ignorant.

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