It is important to note that Enquiring Minds is being developed at a time when there is a concern to develop creative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. There are a range of initiatives that share with Enquiring Minds the vision of encouraging independent, critically-minded and creative students. These include:
This programme of curriculum innovation led by the RSA is potentially a useful partner activity for Enquiring Minds. The sorts of skills and competencies that this programme promotes would be a useful grounding for students entering Enquiring Minds classrooms. Some schools may want to introduce students to Opening Minds in the first instance and then introduce them to Enquiring Minds after basic team-working, information handling skills have been developed.
The Creative Partnerships programme offers the opportunity for many (although not all) schools to build relationships with creative practitioners in science and the arts. The Enquiring Minds approach to teaching and learning actively encourages engagement with experts and knowledge outside the school. One suggestion is that teachers developing Enquiring Minds approaches could work with teachers leading on Creative Partnerships initiatives to identify ways of building links between programmes.
Enterprise and citizenship education
These approaches place significant emphasis on empowering students to be able to act upon and in the world, to innovate, to make a difference, to engage with the world around them. Enquiring Minds approaches can be used to enrich and complement these strands of work in schools.
Enquiring Minds offers a model for the creation of knowledge-sharing and knowledge-building classrooms in which digital technologies are used to support students to interact with each other, share knowledge and information, and collaborate with others in their schools and in the wider community. It integrates the use of ICT into classroom practice and as such, places demands upon school ICT policies to enable easy and non-restrictive use of digital technologies for students in school and, increasingly, in the home. The Enquiring Minds model, and the examples of activity we have shown, provide a resource for planning school ICT policy.
By embedding students’ interests, experiences and ideas at the heart of the teaching and learning process, Enquiring Minds clearly connects with student voice agendas. It would be possible to explore how these changes in the classroom linked up with changes at school/organisational level.