Teachers get their students to ask questions and dig into their subject matter, rather than memorizing facts

By Maria Rantanen, The Times

Motivation, curiosity, and drive - those are what one teacher is trying to tap into as she pushes her students to learn about things they care about.

Julie Clarke, a Grade 6 and 7 teacher at Maple Ridge Elementary, who is completing a graduate diploma at Simon Fraser University on teaching in the digital age, said it is very satisfying to see how her students become excited when they are learning something they care about.

Clarke has been applying inquiry-based learning in her classroom, and with the help of laptops the students created "Genius Hour" projects.

While Clarke said inquiry-base learning "is nothing groundbreaking - teachers have been doing this for years," she feels there's some solid research done to support it.

"[Inquiry-based learning is] based on some good pedagogy - it's based on what motivates people," Clarke said.

The Genius Hour is about motivating students to learn about a subject, allowing them to explore what they are passionate about and interested in.

With inquiry-based learning, there's a lot of questioning, summarizing, and inferring happening, Clarke said, and the students have to learn how to present material.