Collaboration occurs in multiple ways at CFI including between students, subjects, teachers, and schools. Students work together throughout the day exploring, investigating, problem-solving, sharing their thinking, and working on team projects. Teachers create interdisciplinary units at the middle school level integrating subjects such as language arts with individuals and societies or science with design or visual arts with language arts. CFI staff model collaboration in their work with one another, not only within their CFI site but across CFI schools and in their engagement with the community of IB schools. An example of this cross-school collaboration is our Celebration of the Arts where all four schools have a night of visual arts displays and music performances.
All eighth-grade students complete the community project as a culminating experience in the Middle Years Programme. The Community Project is an in-depth inquiry that focuses on community and service. It encourages students to explore their right and responsibility to participate in service as action in the community.
The fifth-grade exhibition provides an opportunity for students to engage in an in-depth inquiry while exploring multiple perspectives and sources. Exhibition gives students the opportunity to pay special attention to their individual areas of interest, while acknowledging the issues that affect a community. The Exhibition is a student-led project, whose topics and formats are created entirely by the fifth graders.
Center for Inquiry schools have strong ties to the local Indianapolis community and beyond through partnerships with organizations that support our mission of developing curious and responsible lifelong learners. One such example is through our partnership with Arts for Learning, the Indiana affiliate of Young Audiences. Through this partnership, CFI 84 was able to host the extraordinary temporary art exhibition third space in February 2020. Internationally-recognized artist Anila Agha’s work hung from the ceiling of the gymnasium for a week; students interacted with the space and the work through the guidance of teaching artist and movement specialist Justin Sears Watson.
Inquiry is at the heart of CFI pedagogy. Through structured, guided, and open inquiry, students are able to pursue questions and lines of thinking that connect prior knowledge to new learning and wonderings. Teachers begin a lesson or unit by presenting provocations – questions, activities, or experiences meant to spark curiosity and deep thinking – and then provide opportunities for students to guide the learning in meaningful and relevant ways. Students in second grade might brainstorm and develop a solution for an environmental challenge that keeps their neighbors safe, for example, while middle school students design and perform a scientific experiment based on their interests. In all grade levels and subject areas, students are the drivers of their own learning.
At Center for Inquiry we are CARING as we show empathy, compassion, and respect. We live the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile Attribute of CARING by having a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
We took action at CFI 70 and held a Virtual Food Drive for Gleaners Food Bank.
Did you know?
Our students wanted to help others in our community who experience food insecurity. Together with their families, our students raised over $3000 to help Gleaners Food Bank meet their holiday goal of $250,000. With the money raised by CFI 70, Gleaners will be able to provide 15,000 meals to families in Indianapolis.