We had the fortunate experience of having Jeff Hopkins from the Pacific Institute of Innovation and Inquiry speak with our class! It was an excellent opportunity to learn about an inquiry based school and Jeff was incredibly gracious with our questions! Needless to say we as a class certainly had a lot to ask!

The PSII school is located here in Victoria and looks a whole lot different than your typical school. This is entirely by design and you can check out a blog post for a tour and little bit of insight on the school’s design from Jeff here as well! At the route of the school is inquiry! Both through this EDCI 336 class and my seminar inquiry projects I am having an opportunity to explore the process of inquiry in my own way. That being said, Jeff’s guest lecture was incredibly insightful as to how this form of pedagogy looks like in the real-world!

A few key take-aways for me were that an inquiry based school has the opportunity for students to grow a lot within their own education! Jeff reinforced the need for scaffolding, especially during students’ first years at the school and that they have learnt a lot since opening the school about how to have students thrive within an inquiry based education. I can only imagine my own need for scaffolding had I been a student within PSII. It is certainly a non-conventional education model which will take me more time to wrap my head around and one that I am not entirely convinced of but I certainly see some of its merits and I would be curious to explore inquiry based learning in science education moving forward! Jeff, certainly has a lot of knowledge and insight to share both on inquiry and education as a whole, I have started following him on twitter and have checked out a few podcasts with him as well. Rumour has it he is soon to be releasing a PSII podcast so I look forward to checking that out once it is released!

For now, here are a few podcasts I checked out!

As I have already Jeff had so much perspective to offer during our class! These are a few quotes I wrote down that I will certainly carry with me in education career:

“Is this school based/built for learning, or to fit in the system?”

“Identify strengths of learners, use these to allow students to engage with learning in a way that makes them engaged and happy”

Looking forward to learning more and pursuing my own inquiries moving forward as an educator!

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash