Contemporary phase of social development is characterized by social and economic transformations, putting rather complicated tasks. Society needs intelligent individuals, being able to orient in information and to find a creative approach to resolve any problem. Children at primary school often change their interests; a teacher needs time to provide a possibility to bring these interests to life…
A great possibility to do this is to involve children in inquiry and project work.
The world we live in is characterized by its dynamic rate of development. A child is in the flow of contradictive information, which makes him\her act as a researcher. Apart from this, the need in exploration is proved biologically. Each grown up supervises a newborn child and the period of his early development. At this period a baby at first curiously explores a new object, and then he\she tests it, and at last, learning how to speak, asks the most widespread question “Why?” Usually it is perceived by the grownups as a specific feature of an age, the “why” phase. Some parents think this period is unbearable, and artificially interrupt it, preventing children from further development. Interrupting this questioning the world around them, we stop their own inquiries, consequently, suppressing the development of their creativity.
There is a perspective, that it is too early to involve children in scientific investigations: children cannot formulate their aims, tasks, hypothesis, to choose the right information etc.
Unfortunately, it is the opinion of the majority of people. However, there is another point of view on this problem. Professor Adamski is sure that all the abilities of a child are formed during the preschool and primary school periods. Practice confirms this. “The primary school age – is the age of a little explorer. Children take part in projects and inquiries with great pleasure. The aim of this work is to develop children’s creativity in researches, to deepen their knowledge, improve abilities and skills in different subjects” (T.S. Markina “The Experience of Investigations and Projects with Primary School Children”, the collection of articles based on materials of the Third International Scientific Conference, Perm, 2-3 March2010, p.168-169)
In our school there are six lessons of inquiry in each grade. These lessons are based on 6 transdisciplinary topics; it means they include information from such sections of life as flora and fauna, social problems, our society, physical and chemical phenomenon etc, this corresponds to the scopes and sequences of social studies, technology and history.
The inquiry approach is applied in other subjects as well, which is the standard of contemporary education. This approach allows
- To teach children how to formulate their aims, to find relevant information, to contribute into the work of a group;
- To improve pupils’ work in a group;
- To teach to take responsibility, while working in a group and acting as the coordinator of the work;
- To teach how to formulate your opinion and to stand for it, to apply knowledge, acquired at school, in real-life situations.
All the teachers of primary school adhere to the principles;
- To teach how to study;
- To teach to show that knowledge is vitally important;
- To ask “Why?” more often;
- To teach how to act, think independently;
- To apply different approaches, solving a problem;
- To emphasize the importance of personality you create while studying.