1- Do you think the Xplore Health portal is a good tool to promote IBSE?
Absolutely. I think that the contents on this portal are so close to issues affecting students or their immediate environment that it is easy to raise inquiry-based activities, as they facilitate the motivation of the students to start “doing” and being active.
2- What is your experience with IBSE in your classroom?
I started using the inquiry-based approach in laboratory practices. I suggested the experiments from a problem situation that engaged students. The conclusions obtained lead to solve the problem situation.
In more theoretical classes I tried to incorporate questions involving inquiry. In addition, with students of 1st and 2nd grade of Secondary Education, I always started teaching units with a question, whose solution could be reached at the end of the unit. It was called the challenge.
However, I must admit I do not use IBSE throughout the whole teaching-learning process offered to my students. First of all, because I think that contents are necessary and essential and that as the course progresses, it is through such contents - and their integration in problem situations - that the inquiry-based approach can be used. On the other hand, because the current curriculum - with its endless aims - makes it impossible to devote all working sessions to inquiry-based activities, as this method is much slower.
There are projects such as Biology in Context for High School - developed from the CDEC - offering the possibility of an entirely inquiry-based teaching approach. It has been successful: students who have been examined for the University entrance examination ("Selectividad") and that have followed this method have obtained good qualifications. This makes me think that, step by step, with good planning and reflection, I should have to increase the use of inquiry-based methodologies to promote this so requested meaningful learning.
3- What criteria must meet inquiry-based activities, according to your opinion?
First of all, the starting point should be a problem situation meaningful for students. From here, with more or less guidance, following some indications, a range of skills should be allowed to be integrated so that the problem is solved. If students develop these skills successfully, the solution to the problem will be met with success.
It is a learning that reflects what happens in everyday life: “I have to go to that street... I develop the needed strategies to find where that street is and what is the best way to go... apply the information that I have managed to find to get to the street... I get to the street".
4- Which results have you seen when promoting inquiry based learning in the classroom?
Better ability to solve problems related to the course contents which require the integration and understanding of the different concepts that have been worked throughout the unit.