Highlands Blog

Learning through Questions

Elise Blackerby
Have you ever wanted to see the difference between the thoughts of a Kindergarten student and a 4th grade student? You can tell a lot by the types of questions they ask. Questions are essential to learning as a means of fostering student curiosity. As educators, we want them to ask questions and explore ideas, which can lead to a rich inquiry-based classroom. From young children whose response to everything is "Why?" to teens that require strong inquiry skills as part of their academic journey, questions help students learn about the world around them.

Integration of Project Based Learning promotes engagement, challenges students to use critical thinking, work collaboratively, develop grit and perseverance in their lives through this active learning process. Is a challenging and engaging mode of learning which promotes whole child learning while students encounter an in-depth exploration of an authentic real-world topic of interest  - cross curricular and woven seamlessly into the established curriculum. It also builds on natural curiosity and guides students to problem solve, communicate and reflect. As part of our Project Based Learning approach, students ask many questions related to one central idea. These questions then guide their research and project work as they collaborate and create with their fellow students. 
Would you like to see how these questions were answered? Visit eNight on December 13 to see the culmination of our students Project Based Learning this semester. Museum style learning exhibits from Highlands School students will be on display. During this culminating event, students take the role of experts to share what they have learned with an audience of peers, parents, and others. This event will showcase the planning process, the phases of the project study and the final product of their work. This is a wonderful chance to celebrate the enduring understanding fostered by Project Based Learning.
Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.