Inquiry-based Learning



The New Hamline Elementary Program

Hamline Elementary is a public community school partnering with Hamline University to discover, design, and apply the most effective and creative methods for teaching our children.

The new Hamline Elementary program builds on the Inquiry Based Learning Model, which is a student-centered approach rooted in curiosity, asking questions, and following an active path in pursuit of knowledge.

As students take the lead in their education, following their own sense of wonder, the curriculum becomes more individualized and relevant to them. This increases their engagement, sense of empowerment, and investment in learning.

Teachers and university professors use the same inquiry-based process as students to identify the most pressing questions related to student achievement and refine programming to meet student needs.

Students begin with the phrase “I Wonder…” and follow a process of discovery.

Teachers are facilitators of learning using methods that target students’ specific needs and abilities and allow them to learn at the pace and direction that is right for them, ensuring academic rigor while maintainining a student-directed environment.

Inquiry-based learning:

• Supports our student competencies of Collaborators, Communicators, Creators, Critical Thinkers, and Self & Community Aware

• Is a culturally-responsive approach that allows space for student ideas, cultures, and capabilities and connects learning to students’ lives

• Builds upon students’ strengths and interests to increase student engagement

• Builds student ownership by shifting the teacher-learner dynamic to being co-creators in the learning space

• Encourages students to wonder and direct their own learning by asking questions, investigating, and collaborating to make meaning

Core Competencies

At Hamline Elementary, we want our students to leave fifth grade with more than enough knowledge and skills in order to be successful in their future academic careers and individual life paths.

Our Hamline Elementary team worked together and developed five core competencies that we believe are essential in supporting our students in their lives. These five competencies are incorporated throughout each day and thoughtfully aligned within our curriculum.

Hamline Huskies are:

1. Communicators

2. Collaborators

3. Creators

4. Critical Thinkers

5. Community and Self Aware

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