IBL or inquiry-based learning, can be defined as a method of gathering knowledge by way of asking questions and seeking answers to those questions rather than simply memorizing pre-established facts and terminology. Many educational professionals have taken to implementing this method into their own classrooms. Throughout our daily lives, we learn things about the world around us by querying and problem solving. Unfortunately, traditional education does not follow these same principles. Instead students are forced to memorize and regurgitate information to standards laid out by groups of people within the government. IBL, like everything, comes with an upside and a downside.
IBL is a very personalized sort of learning, that allows students to follow their passions instead of simply doing what their told. In many cases, the growth of the student far surpasses what they would have achieved in a regular classroom setting. The independent format of IBL allows teachers to spread themselves out over many students, only being there when they need it, and not being overbearing. IBL starts with a driving question, or something to push the students research forward. Using this allows exploration of a variety of things, and keeps the mind busy delving deeper into the chosen topics.
This style of learning doesn’t work for everyone. For some students, a more traditional approach works best. Some students have such a variety of interests, or a shifting view on what interests them t makes it difficult to choose one topic or question and stick with it. Another big issue facing students is the motivation piece. Most young people do not feel motivated enough to actually go and do their research. In many cases it requires a teacher there telling them what to do before they actually get any work done.
In the end, it’s difficult to say exactly which way education should take. From many tests done with this sort of learning, it seems a blend of traditional values and encouragement of free-thought is the way to go. But, like IBL, learning in general is a very personalized thing.