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19th July 2019

Oakham’s Head of Library heads to WSLA Conference

Our Head of Library and founder of The FOSIL Group, Darryl Toerien, has been invited to speak at the World Leading Schools Association Conference in Prague this week.

Darryl will be giving a presentation to representatives from across the world on the topic of ‘Future-proofing students through inquiry’.  For his session, on Saturday 20 July, Darryl will also be joined by Oakham’s Head of Student Research, Chris Foster.

It is incredibly fitting for Darryl to be presenting at the conference – given its theme, Education for the Human Condition, and the hope the conference will help educators determine the skills needed for today’s youth. 

“Students need to be prepared for their future by being equipped to access, handle and use information” says Darryl. “They should have the skills and attributes to ask and answer questions for themselves – inquiry learning should not be a ‘bolt on’, nor should it be assumed that pupils will simply pick up these skills along their learning journey.”

Darryl continues, “Seymour Papert – central to revolutions in child development, AI and computational technologies for education – highlighted that it is impossible to teach students everything that they need to know, so the best we can do is to position them where they can find out what they need to know when they need to know it. This is our increasingly urgent task, and it does not happen by chance.”

During his presentation, Darryl will explain how we, at Oakham, have been focusing our efforts to reach this position by design through the development of a Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning (FOSIL). As a model of the inquiry process, FOSIL is based on the work of Barbara Stripling, but is further informed by the ground-breaking work of Carol Kuhlthau in describing the affective, cognitive and physical demands of inquiry in order to shape more effective interventions.  To find out more, read Darryl’s blog here: Developing inquiring minds: a journey from information through knowledge to understanding.

Darryl has also been proactively sharing Oakham’s inquiry learning journey by establishing the The FOSIL Group, an open and growing community of schools and education professionals who have an interest in inquiry learning and a willingness to share their experiences with others.  Regardless of whether you are attending the WLSA Conference, we urge you to join the conversation today!

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