Inquiry-based Learning Visual Concept Diagram
Inquiry-based learning is rooted in the scientific method of
investigating phenomenon in a structured and methodical manner.
Related to teaching and learning, it is an information-processing
model that allows pupils to discover meaning and relevance to
information through a series of steps that lead to a conclusion
or reflection on the newly attained knowledge. In most cases,
teachers use a "guided inquiry" method to facilitate the learning
experience and structure the inquiry around specific goals of
instruction. The benefits of inquiry-based learning include the
development of critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem
Principles of Inquiry-based Learning
The main components of inquiry-based learning include:
- a question(s) related to the topic of inquiry to be explored
- followed by an investigation and gathering of information
related to the question (data collection),
- continuing with a discussion of findings (analysis),
- commencing with a reflection on what was learned (implications/conclusion).
- The first step in any inquiry is the formulation of a question
or set of questions related to the topic of inquiry. The question
can be posed by the teacher or by the pupil(s). Sometimes the
question is referred to as a hypothesis or a problem statement.
- Once a question is posed, pupils are encouraged to investigate
the topic by gathering information from sources that either
the teacher provides or within learning resources or tools that
are readily available to the pupils.
- When enough information related to the topic of inquiry is
gathered, it is organized in categories or outlined by highlighting
the important information relative to the topic. This helps
the pupil make connections with new learning and prior learning.
- The information is discussed and analyzed for further understanding.
The teacher can direct the discussion and highlight the implications
that arise from the investigation and show how it relates to
the solution of the problem.
- Conclusions are made and related back to the original question.
Student reflections are encouraged and serve as a way to relate
back to the inquiry and retrace the steps that led to the conclusion.
This also serves to reinforce the model so that pupils can repeat
the process in any problem-solving situation.