Inquiry-based learning and the new BC curriculum: supporting all students in inclusive classrooms
There is currently a massive shift occurring in the field of education in British Columbia. With a new curriculum being implemented across the province, teachers are now expected to shift the focus towards the development of core competencies and skills to help prepare them for life in the 21st century. One model that teachers are encouraged to use in order to enhance these skills is called inquiry-based learning. The question of how to effectively implement this model in an inclusive classroom setting, while supporting all students with a Universal Design for Learning approach, was the focus of this study. Conducted over four months in a primary classroom, this action research study demonstrates how Knowledge Building Circles, multimodal methods of instruction, sociodramatic skits, video modeling, and collaborative group work projects can be used as effective teaching strategies. Key themes emerged around: speaking and listening skills, ways of learning, means of expression, fostering collaboration and higher order thinking skills, student engagement, and experiential learning. Overall, this study demonstrates how the inquiry process can be a meaningful way to enhance the learning of all students while implementing the new curriculum. It is hoped that other teachers may apply these findings to their own practice, and that further research will be done in this area.