Tool IA-2: Observing an IBL lesson

For this tool you will need the following resources:

  • IA-2 PowerPoint
  • Handout: Observing an inquiry classroom
  • Video: Building with waste plastic bottles

The aim of this tool is to help groups consider in more depth the characteristics of classrooms wheredownload_powerpoint students are engaged in inquiry based learning. Teachers are asked to watch a video which exemplifies an IBL lesson in which students are working on the problem ‘Building with plastic bottles in Honduras’. They are then asked to look for different teacher and student behaviours.

To begin, explain to the teachers that you are going to watch a video of an IBL lesson. Ask them to look out for the main features and especially observe what the teacher does and the students do.


download_handoutNow ask the group to work in pairs to reflect on the main features of the lesson. Ask them to answer the following questions on the Handout: Observing an inquiry classroom.

  • What did the students do in this classroom?
  • What did the teacher do in this classroom? (In this image the teacher writes questions the students have suggested)

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Bring the group together to share their responses and also ask the teachers as a group to discuss how this classroom differs from a traditional classroom.

Ask the teachers to plan to teach an inquiry lesson. Discuss with them what research question they would like to explore. For example, they might look out for what they, as teachers, actually do differently or how this changes their role and makes them feel.

Before next time each member of the group should teach their inquiry lesson and reflect on their chosen research question. They should be ready to report back on their observations and reflections at the next session.