This 1 week course on Exploring Local Resources is of significant benefit to teachers and trainers who would like to explore the possibilities of using an Inquiry Based Learning approach to creating dynamic learning opportunities using the wealth of easily, and often very economically, available resources in their locality.

This course will increase their awareness of current thinking on Inquiry Based Learning; its potential to support students to become more collaborative, thoughtful and innovative learners, its application across a range of topics and classes including its relevance in the area of preparing students for a changing world of work and employment opportunities.

They will also have the opportunity to share ideas on best practice methodologies with colleagues from across Europe thereby improving the overall approach to teaching in their schools and, as a result, the learner outcomes for their students.

Course Objectives

The primary objectives of this 1-week Inquiry Based Learning course are

  • to familiarise participants with key concepts and issues in Inquiry Based Learning and to help develop their skills in incorporating IBL into teaching and learning processes in their schools
  • to increase participants’ skill and confidence in the use of tech tools used in IBL
  • to explore a range of school projects for subjects such as English, geography, history and citizenship with a focus on the tools and resources needed to implement IBL
  • to provide opportunities for improved methodology and creativity to help participants increase their student engagement and retention on their return to their own schools
  • to provide an opportunity to develop and consolidate participants own language skills
  • to promote awareness of contemporary Ireland
  • to establish contacts between teachers from a variety of European backgrounds and facilitate future networking among these professionals


    This is a practical, hands-on, participative course which focuses on the application of IBL in the classroom. The input sessions are a blend of presentation format, discussion and practical activities. Throughout the course participants are encouraged to reflect on their own practice, consider alternative practices and try out a variety of classroom activities through lesson planning, workshops and presentations. Participants will build up and evaluate a portfolio of project ideas and develop a project idea of their own.

    The morning sessions are complemented and reinforced by afternoon cultural visits to places related to Irish history or culture which could be incorporated into an IBL project. Participants are encouraged to develop their language skills in a more informal environment outside the classroom and further enhance their knowledge of Ireland


    This course on Exploring Local Resources – An Inquiry Based Approach to our Community is a one-week course consisting of 20 morning contact hours as well as an excursions programme which is linked to the morning sessions. Advice is provided on opportunities for extended Informal Learning and Personal Research related to their course on Saturday and Sunday

    Follow Up

    On the final day of the course, the participants engage in a reflection session in which they are encouraged to examine benefits gained from the course and complete a course evaluation form. Participants are encouraged to keep contact via email and private social networking. Regular follow-up contact is made with the participants after completion of the course. The Alpha trainers are available for follow-up advice and support at all times.

    To apply for the Exploring Local Resources – an Inquiry Based Approach to our Community

    To make application for Erasmus+ funding for this course or any of our other in-service training courses for teachers please visit your National Agency website for full information on the application process.

    About Alpha College

    Alpha College has a staff of highly qualified, experienced and motivated teacher trainers who are also practising teachers of English, experienced in using up-to-date methods with learners at all levels of language learning. In addition Alpha College has been providing in-service training courses for teachers from overseas for the last 18 years.

    Course Programme

    Day one

    • Induction and introduction to the course. Creation of a digital portfolio .
    • An Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning. Key concepts and essential questions. Teacher and student roles in Inquiry Based Learning
    • An orientation tour of Dublin to provide participants with an opportunity to practise their English in a more informal setting outside the classroom, familiarise themselves with the art and architecture of the city and consider how an urban area could be used as a basis for Inquiry Based Learning projects

    Day two

    • The Inquiry Cycle: planning the module. Strategies for developing student contributions and fostering student engagement
    • Workshop: Street art, architecture and cultural spaces in our community. Tools and resources for developing walking tours of our communities. Reflection on how urban areas are used as a basis for Inquiry Based Learning projects
    • Visit to a local Library – the role of the library in our community, in education and in the Digital Age

    Day three

    • The Inquiry Cycle: monitoring students’ progress, reflecting on learning goals and setting up the final stage
    • Workshop: Transportation in our Community. The role of transportation in historical developments, local and national economy and recent headlines
    • Visit to Dun Laoghaire – Train Station and Port

    Day four

    • Approaches to assessment in Inquiry Based Learning. Exploring and developing formative and summative assessment in an Inquiry Based Learning module. The role of self and peer evaluation in employment
    • Workshop: The changing world of work. Employment trends and opportunities in localities then and now
    • Visit to a local Enterprise Centre to see how small local industries and start-ups work. (This is an organisation set up to help create and grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial and technical services)

    Day five

    • Workshop: Developing a project idea for our context
    • The Inquiry Cycle: Reflection and assessment of project ideas. Course Evaluation
    • Outdoor Learning Environments in Inquiry Based Learning Projects. Visit to St. Anne’s Park

    Course Dates

    • 22nd July 2019
    • (or by arrangement for closed groups)

    Language Level

    • Minimum B1

    Course Fees

    Programme including materials; excursions and activities as outlined in the programme

    • 495

    Host family accommodation; single room; half board

    • 200 for 1 week (July and August)

    Student Self Catering Accommodation; July & August with limited availability from 16th June

    • 295 per week

    Airport Transfers (optional)

    • 70 – Arrival
    • 70 – Departure

    Enquire about this course

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