Informed Through Inquiry
Inquiry is fundamental to a WIS education.
In a world where answers are readily available, where information is accessible in abundance, it's more important than ever for students to develop skills in analysis and critical thinking. From Preschool through Grade 12, WIS students are encouraged to ask questions, to challenge assertions, and to think deeply about what they are learning.
The inquiry-based approached is emphasized in the IB Primary Years Program (Preschool to Grade 5) and the IB Diploma Program (Grades 11–12) as well as in the Project Zero methodologies used in all WIS grades. Visitors to WIS classrooms regularly comment on WIS students' perceptive questions.
A robust professional development program ensures faculty are well versed in inquiry-based instruction. Through programs such as WISSIT, WIS faculty serve as mentors and models for their colleagues throughout the DC area.
"This is just the way we do things at WIS. We are thinking deeply at an early age."
When the National Gallery of Art began preparing the content for an online course on teaching critical thinking through art, our IB Diploma Visual Arts students were asked to participate. Their regular engagement with Project Zero thinking routines had familiarized them with the process of finding meaning in art through careful observation and analysis. When the film crew acknowledged WIS students' unexpected insightfulness, one student responded: "This is just the way we do things at WIS. We are thinking deeply at an early age."