The Benefits of an Inquiry-Led Curriculum in Early Childhood
Each school must select their curriculum based on research and find the best method and resources for students. Childhood is a time of wonder, and using an inquiry-led curriculum in the early years encourages each child to ask questions and investigate real-world problems has many benefits. These include:
- Critical thinking skills
- Deep understanding
- Information retention
- Lifelong learning skills
- Collaboration and communication
- Real-world relevance
- Creativity and innovation
- Emotional and social development
Students at OWIS Osaka analyse information and think critically. They explore topics in-depth, connect new information to existing frameworks and retain more information. These skills allow students to become lifelong learners. They see value in their education and learning for the sake of learning. By working in groups, students learn to communicate and hear other people’s perspectives. Ideas are shared, which leads to real-world relevance, creativity and innovation. Each student develops emotionally and socially to work collaboratively and through challenges with resilience.
Our inquiry-based curriculum also fully aligns with the values of our school. We want to create future global citizens who are kind, compassionate and able to work as a part of a team. We work hard to foster a nurturing environment at the school, which helps to reduce stress and instances of bullying and increases self-esteem and the ability to concentrate and learn. The well-being of every child comes first, and our curriculum allows children to explore their interests and reach their full potential.
A child’s experience in school is meant to be fun, memorable and engaging. What better way to create this atmosphere of engagement and learning than by using an inquiry-based curriculum? Our instructors at One World International School Osaka believe in the core values of our inquiry-based curriculum. These are drawn from Western educational philosophy and allow our students to learn through dialogue, questioning and critical thinking. The OWIS inquiry-based curriculum also offers opportunities for experimentation and risk-taking. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves, make mistakes and learn from them. This is the best type of education, and the benefits of an inquiry-led curriculum speak for themselves.
The Benefits of an Inquiry-Led Curriculum
Students with an inquiry-led curriculum in their early years come away with many advantages. Even when this method of instruction is delayed until later years, students still see benefits in their education and their life beyond school. OWIS Osaka helps children become better students and gain skills to make them successful in their future workplaces. Here is a look at some of the many benefits the OWIS inquiry-led curriculum offers.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills are important in a school environment and also in real life. These skills allow a child to analyse information, consider the evidence and make reasoned judgments. In addition, learning to think critically fosters wise time management, problem-solving, innovation, creativity and the ability to connect concepts.
By having excellent critical thinking skills, students can better express themselves because they can think clearly about an issue and explain their thoughts. This improves relationships and makes them confident decision-makers. It’s clear that those who can think critically will trust their judgement and be more successful in school and their future career.
We believe that it is unfortunate that so many curricula focus solely on the goal of memorising facts just long enough to pass an exam. This does not allow for deep understanding. In contrast, One World International School Osaka understands the value of deep understanding. Utilising an inquiry-based curriculum allows each child to connect the new things they are learning with prior knowledge. By exploring topics in-depth, students understand the subject matter better and foster a deeper understanding.
The goal of education is for students to retain information in the long term. With the OWIS inquiry-led curriculum, students actively engage in the learning process. They construct their own knowledge and real-world application by connecting new information to material they have already learned, which enhances memory recall. By making lessons enjoyable, stimulating and collaborative, we enhance brain and emotional activity, leading to improved memorisation. This is achieved by connecting the acquired knowledge with the activities or interactions through which it was learned.
Lifelong Learning Skills
At OWIS Osaka, each child develops a lifelong love of learning. By engaging with an inquiry-led curriculum, each child develops research skills, the ability to solve problems, informational literacy and the skills to ask meaningful questions. These skills are great for school, but they will also translate into real life. By learning this way, students become curious and develop intrinsic motivation. Learning becomes a fun adventure instead of a box to check or an answer to fill in. Students become motivated to explore their interests, enriching their lives as students, adults and professionals.
Collaboration and Communication
Collaborative group work is the norm in today’s working environment. It’s best to prepare your child as soon as possible with an inquiry-led curriculum in the early years. This curriculum guides each child through working as part of a team, which helps in developing their communication, cooperation and teamwork skills. Everyone is encouraged to share their ideas, listen to others and communicate their thoughts and findings in a concise and coherent way.
A goal of education is to make the content relevant and meaningful. With the OWIS inquiry-led curriculum, each child connects what they learn in the classroom to the real-world context. This enhances motivation and engagement. When a child sees a practical way to understand and utilise school material, they buy into the lessons.
Creativity and Innovation
When a child can think outside the box and put their own stamp on their education, they develop original perspectives. Creativity and innovation stem from a student being able to explore the different possibilities that are out there, create new ideas and find unique solutions to problems. By interacting with the material in new and innovative ways, each child makes the learning experience their own and finds more enjoyment at school.
Emotional and Social Development
Our OWIS inquiry-based curriculum allows each child to build confidence in expressing their ideas. Every student learns to work in a group, develop resilience when faced with challenges and become an independent learner. With early support in these areas, students in later grades and life beyond school experience social and emotional benefits.
Students who attend One World International School Osaka receive many benefits from their inquiry-based education. They feel empowered and have their interests, passions and talents nurtured from early on. Student choice is taken into account so each student views learning as a rewarding experience. Through this style of learning, there is an emphasis on a growth mindset, perseverance and self-regulation. These help students feel more successful and interested in school and translate into success in adulthood and future careers. We do not take the selection of our curriculum lightly; it is important for us to utilise a curriculum that fully aligns with the values of our school. It’s clear that an inquiry-based curriculum creates the most nurturing environment and is the most beneficial way for our students to learn and grow.