The inquiry training model suggests that learning should be based on the ability to formulate questions and find answers through the thinking process and the process of building causal relationships; therefore, instead of receiving answers, students are encouraged to ask questions and propose answers, the correctness of which the educator can either confirm or disconfirm (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2015). The setting in which the model is particularly appropriate is the classroom; in classrooms, learners can hear one another’s questions and interact with each other as well as with the teacher.
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Both theoretical and practical aspects of the model make it particularly relevant for educating students with special needs, such as students with developmental disabilities (Smitha, 2012). The theoretical basis of the model is that learning is the process of obtaining new knowledge and skills through the use of existing knowledge and skills; by inquiring and proposing answer options, learners are more likely to develop the ability to learn how to learn and to learn more in the future.
Teachers need to know that, for students with special needs, the lack of willingness or knowledge of how to learn is a major problem; the model addresses this problem by providing a set of instruments to master the learning processes.
To successfully implement the model, teachers need to constantly encourage learners to develop hypotheses (Wilson, n.d.). However, it should be expected that learners will inevitably ask direct questions requiring an answer different from yes or no. In these cases, teachers should delicately remind learners that such answers cannot be answered in class. The delicacy is needed to ensure that learners do not lose confidence; increasing their confidence is one of the main advantages of the inquiry training model.
Joyce, B. R., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of teaching (9th ed.). London, UK: Pearson.
Smitha, V. P. (2012). Inquiry training model and guided discovery learning for fostering critical thinking and scientific attitude. Kozhikode, India: Vilavath.
Wilson, L. O. (n.d.). An overview: Exactly what are teaching models and why are they so important to the quality of instruction? Web.