Monday, 20 May 2013

Inquiry doesn't promote fact growth, or does it?

I was out with a friend of mine last night when we got into a heated debate about inquiry based learning. I was fine with his opinion until he got to the part that inquiry learning does not promote facts. His argument was that teachers spend too much time letting the kids explore that they forget about the actual computation that is needed for them to do the math.

My argument, was that though I can't speak for ever teacher who teaches inquiry, only myself and those that I have seen, it does. Not to be frank with my argument but it does. As a teacher it is my job to make sure that my kids are learning mathematics. This means that they aren't just figuring out amazing ways of solving the problem but are actually talking about the mathematics.  Facts are amazing but without a context they are just facts, meaningless and useless facts.   In an inquiry based learning environment students do learn their facts, maybe not as quickly as if I used flash cards and mad minutes but they don't forget them once they have learned them.  In addition, my students also learn them in engaging ways, through games and contextual problems.

But this is only my opinion, would love to hear what you all think?