Inquiry-Based Learning: What You Should Know

Inquiry-based learning is not a new method. It can be traced back to the education philosopher John Dewey.

Asking questions is the core of inquiry-based learning. The focus of this technique is to answer the questions the students care about. This motivates them to ask new questions. The process becomes more meaningful for the students. Inquiry-based learning inspires children to further learn more about their topic.

Main Principles
The approach is more driven by the questions of the learners rather than the lesson plans of the teachers. In addition, this method is inspired by a constructivist philosophy. The constructivist philosophy of education is founded on the premise that by reflecting on our experiences we construct our own understanding of our environment.

Inquiry-based learning will slowly become the new “normal” in the classroom. This is because inquiry-based learning is a more complicated approach to pursuing knowledge rather than traditional methods which is more linear and structured. Inquiry-based projects are driven by the students, teachers and instructors. They act more as guides and coaches to help students to get to the “true” questions required for learning. When it is the students that are choosing the questions, they are motivated to learn and take more ownership of the project. This will lead to greater understanding and a more successful learning culture.

Inquiry-based learning projects are also structured and, at times, demand even more planning and preparation from educators. The defined role of the educator is different than that of a teacher. They are more like facilitators.

Advantages of Inquiry-Based Learning
Instructors that adopt this method to learning, assist students in determining and refining their questions to come up with viable projects. The research is then guided by the facilitator. The approach is beneficial to students because it allows them freedom to research topics of their choice along with instilling basic skills.

This approach also allows flexibility. Inquiry-based learning enables students a certain amount of creativity for extensive projects. Other advantages to inquiry-based learning are that kids that are more kinesthetic learners prosper in such an environment and peaking their interest.

Inquiry-based learning works best through interdisciplinary means by incorporating multiple skills learnt in other subjects, too. These projects also strengthen past skills learnt in prior grades. Inquiry-based learning works well under collaborative learning environments and team projects. There are many advantages to inquiry-based learning. Only a few were mentioned but present trends in education in the classrooms are headed towards this style of teaching and abandoning the old methods.

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