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EDUCATIONAL MODEL

 

At Pathlight Preparatory, we utilize a learning process through questions generated from the interests, curiosities, and perspectives and experiences of our students. Our Inquiry-based instructors believe that when investigations grow from our own questions, curiosities, and experiences, learning is an organic and motivating process that is intrinsically enjoyable. 

 

Hence, Pathlight Preparatory Educational Model supports the framework of Inquiry-Based Learning which relies upon the idea that students are capable of learning and mastering course content by investigating scenarios and problems, and through social experiences. Rather than having to memorize information from printed materials, instructors (teachers) direct, engage, and encourage their students to conduct investigations that would stimulate their curiosity, assist them to broaden their knowledge base and develop their critical and creative skills, as well as their mental frames of reference or point of views.

 

It’s important to remember that inquiry-based learning is not a technique or practice per se, but an ever-evolving process that has the potential to increase the intellectual engagement and deep understanding of learners, encouraging them to:

  • Develop their questioning, research and communication skills;

  • Collaborate outside the classroom;

  • Solve problems, create solutions, and tackle real-life questions and issues; and

  • Participate in the creation and enrichment of ideas and knowledge.    

    

Socratic Method of Questioning (Inquiry-Based Learning)

We always want to remind ourselves that questioning (inquiry-based learning) has a long and venerable history as an educational and a critical thinking strategy. The goal is to use questions and answers to challenge assumptions, expose contradictions, and lead to new knowledge and wisdom which will eventually become an undeniably powerful approach to analyze experiences and situations that may have positive and/or negative outcomes. Indeed, looking at an opinion, an argument, or an idea through various interpretations can provide knowledge that can last a lifetime.

A question is any sentence that has an interrogative form or function. In an academic classroom setting, a teacher’s questions are defined as instructional or investigative cues or stimuli that convey to students the content elements to be learned and directions for what they are to do and how they are to do it.

 

  • Questioning should become an intrinsic reaction that is proactive in it’s initiation, rather than reactive. Waiting for an experience to occur for one to question it’s validity or eventual outcome only places one on a defensive.

  • Questioning must be ongoing. It should happen from within, similar to how a child who without reservation innocently questions because of his or her innate curious nature to learn, but only to have the learning process halted by an adult’s impatience in explaining, overprotection of what might be discovered, and/or fear of the power that might be gained through the acquisition of new knowledge.

  • Questioning fosters true knowledge in its purest form and  allows a student to make an informed decision, rather than an innocent careless choice without forethought. It allows a student to clearly recognize the consequences of his or her choices.

The Five (5) Stages of Inquiry-Based Learning

Pathlight Preparatory (PP) Inquiry-Based Learning includes the following five (5) stages:

  1. Ask questions;

  2. Probe (examine) into various situations; 

  3. Conduct analysis (investigations) and provide descriptions;

  4. Communicate findings, verbally or in writing; and

  5. Think about the information and knowledge obtained.                                                                                                                              

The Four (4) Principles of Inquiry-Based Learning

 

There are four (4) key principles that govern the Pathlight Preparatory Inquiry-Based Learning, Process: 

  • Principle 1: Students are in the center of the entire process, while instructors, resources and technology are  adequately organized to support them.    

  • Principle 2: All learning activities revolve around information-processing skills.    

  • Principle 3: Instructors facilitate the learning process, but also seek to learn more about their students and the process of inquiry-based learning.  

  • Principle 4: Emphasis is placed on evaluating the development of information-processing skills and conceptual understanding, and not on the actual content of the field.    

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