Introduction to Inquiry

Report

Inquiry is a multifaceted activity that
involves making observations; posing
questions; examining…sources of
information to see what is already
known; planning and conducting
investigations; reviewing what is already
[known]; using tools to analyze, and
interpret data; proposing answers;
explanations and predictions; and
communicating results.
 National Academy of Science, 1996

“Inquiry is a simple three-syllable word
that requires a paragraph to explain and
a vision to make it real.”
 National Science Foundation, 1997
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
Students’ curiosity
about their world
motivates their desire
for education
Curiosity means
exploration,
investigation
Leading students into
primary sources
empowers their ability
to learn, and to follow
their interests
Inquiry-based
learning
makes education
more like
the PROCESS of
learning
IBL models emphasize not only WHAT we
know but HOW we know it.
Inquiry teaching leads students through
the experience of inquiry.
 Our “experience of inquiry” surrounds a
project.
 According to Stuessy & Thomas (1998),
Students build their understandings through
direct experience with materials, by
consulting resources that include experts,
and through argument and debate
among themselves.


Observations and questions

Hands-on experiences

Reflecting on what they have observed
or measured to make meaning from their
experiences

Applying and extending their findings to
new questions or problems
When did were the photos taken?
 Why? By Whom?
 What is different from today?
 What would it be like today without this
item/event?
 Who is missing?
 What is surprising?
 What does this remind you of?

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Exploring, adventure, reading the evidence, and
following the lead are exciting storylines
The Library of Congress’s mammoth website is rich
in sources from the humanities, the arts, music,
drama, geography, anthropology, and the
sciences
Students can use sources from across many
disciplines to find answers, and to ask new
questions

Directed inquiry - teacher guides students
along

Guided inquiry - teacher sets up a
structured experience for the students

Open inquiry – project-based and
problem-based learning; students identify
questions; students determine what to do
and how to do it
Assess prior knowledge
 Ask guiding questions, without providing
answers. (“Wait time” is important.)
 Arrange classroom to promote
collaboration
 Provide opportunities for open-ended
investigations
 Model analysis techniques
 Foster reflection and critical thinking skills
 Provide real-world connections and
integration with other subjects

1)
Connecting past knowledge and experiences with
a problem
2)
Investigating problems through research
3)
Designing a pathway to find an answer to a
problem
4)
Constructing meaning through evidence and
analysis

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