Roles of Teacher and Student in IBL

IBLquoteIn traditional social studies classrooms, the teacher plays the role of expert, who has the answers and provides these answers for students to remember for later testing (imagine a history teacher lecturing about Canada’s contributions in the First World War, and students taking notes to study later). The teacher is the active agent transmitting information, while the student is passive and receptive. In IBL, this structure is broken down and reimagined:

The Teacher

  • creates problems and driving questions
  • designs investigations that meet learning outcomes
  • is a “guide on the side” as opposed to a “sage on the stage”
  • facilitates inquiry process
  • uses formative assessment at key stages during inquiry
  • reflects on own practice for improvement

The Student

  • actively investigates new knowledge and concepts
  • formulates research questions to answer driving questions
  • is a scholar, using discovered information for a purpose
  • takes responsibility for learning
  • works collaboratively to solve problems and share ideas
  • reflects on own practice for improvement
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Benefits of IBL