learning provides opportunities for students to experience and acquire
processes through which they can gather information about the world.
This requires a high level of interaction among the learner, the
teacher, the area of study, available resources, and the learning
environment. Students become actively involved in the learning process
upon their curiosity and interests;
their way through controversies or dilemmas;
look at problems analytically;
into their preconceptions and what they already know;
clarify, and test hypotheses; and,
inferences and generate possible solutions.
is the heart of inquiry learning. Students must ask relevant questions
and develop ways to search for answers and generate explanations.
Emphasis is placed upon the process of thinking as this applies
to student interaction with issues, data, topics, concepts, materials,
thinking is encouraged and nurtured as students recognize that questions
often have more than one "good" or "correct"
answer. Such thinking leads in many instances to elaboration of
further questions. In this way students come to the realization
that knowledge may not be fixed and permanent but may be tentative,
emergent, and open to questioning and alternative hypotheses.
focus in deductive inquiry is on moving students from a generalized
principle to specific instances that may be subsumed logically within
generalizations. The process of testing generalized assumptions,
applying them, and exploring the relationships between, specific
elements is stressed. The teacher co-ordinates the information and
presents important principles, themes, or hypotheses. Students are
actively engaged in testing generalizations, gathering information,
and applying it to specific examples. Deductive inquiry is based
upon the logical assimilation and processing of information.
information-seeking process of the inductive inquiry method helps
students to establish facts, determine relevant questions, develop
ways to pursue these questions, and build explanations. Students
are invited to develop and support their own hypotheses.
inductive inquiry, students experience the thought processes which
require them to move from specific facts and observations to inferences.
To help students accomplish this, the teacher selects a set of events
or materials for the lesson. The student reacts and attempts to
construct a meaningful pattern based on personal observations and
the observations of others. Students generally have some kind of
theoretical frame when they begin inductive inquiry. The teacher
encourages students to share their thoughts so that the entire class
can benefit from individual insights.
- Inquiry Circles for Deeper Comprehension
- Focus on Inquiry - A Teacher’s Guide to Implementing Inquiry-based Learning
– Learn more about the Inquiry process and
- Simplifying Inquiry Instruction - An article from The Science Teacher
Four Levels of Inquiry - Gives a nice overview of how levels
of teacher intervention can vary according to the task and needs
of the students.
– A free, self-paced workshop with tips and strategies.
Page – A community where inquiry-based education can
be discussed, resources and experiences shared.
Learning – Six articles that deal with helping students
to engage in inquiry learning within their classroom settings.
- Internet Inquiry - This approach can be an effective and high-interest
method for developing research skills. Inquiry can be used by
individuals or small groups of students. In Internet Inquiry,
a topic or question is identified and researched. This research
includes traditional sources (such as encyclopedias, atlases,
and biographies) as well as Internet-based resources. Students
analyze the information and prepare a report, which is then presented
to the rest of the class.