What Does Inquiry-Based Learning Mean?

The meaning of inquiry-Based learning with examples of the different types

The Meaning of Inquiry-Based Learning and Real-Life Examples

Hey, y’all! I’ve received a lot of questions over the last few weeks about what exactly inquiry-based learning is and how it works. So, I thought I’d take a minute to share about some different types of inquiry-based learning and what inquiry learning looks like in my classroom. Inquiry-based learning is not the same as phenomenon-based learning, but inquiry strategies can be included in the way phenomenon-based learning units are designed. There are some similarities, but PhenomBL goes much deeper. 
Inquiry-based learning is defined as a strategy that “engages students by making real-world connections through exploration and high-level questioning.” This could be done a few different ways:
Structured inquiry is when students are going through the steps of the inquiry process together. With first grade students, this is where we start. My lessons are designed around their questions, and we focus on one topic each time. For instance, if we’re looking at life cycles, we’re all exploring oviparous animals (animals that lay eggs) at the same time. They get to explore different animals that they’re interested in, and we come together to discuss our findings and similarities between the animals at the end of our exploration period. 
In controlled inquiry, the teacher chooses what the kids will be learning and the kids find the answers. This is similar to giving them a list of questions about the chapter they’re assigned to read and telling them to find the answers. This could also be students completing a science lab and answering questions at the end. 
Guided inquiry can be more problem based, similar to project-based learning. Students are given a problem to solve and tasked with finding a solution. In this setup, the teacher acts more as a coach or a guide than a direct facilitator of information. This works well when students have to plan a garden or plan a camping trip. They have an end goal in mind and some guidance in how to do it, but it’s their plan to create. 
In free inquiry, students ask their own questions and are in charge of finding their own answers. This is one of the truest forms of inquiry. I would not start the year off like this unless students have had extensive practice in inquiry beforehand. This type of inquiry is along the lines of genius hour and independent projects. 
Inquiry-based learning types explained with examples

Inquiry-based learning is a fantastic way to get students engaged in their learning if structured well. We’ll go into more detail about planning for IBL in a later blog post. 
I hope this answered some of your questions and gave you a good place to start planning your own inquiry units. 
This is the first in a new series on inquiry-based learning so be sure to check in often for more information and tips for your inquiry units. 
Have a wonderful week and I’ll talk to you soon.

Stay cozy,

No comments

Post a Comment