Discover the Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning
- A Case for Curiosity: Hear from one educator on the value of asking “why?” and learn how to preserve and nurture a curious mindset. (Edutopia, 2016)
- 3 Rules to Spark Learning: Watch a short video to understand how student questions seed real learning. (TED Talks, 2013)
- Why Curiosity Enhances Learning: Read about findings of a neurological study on curiosity. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Designing Learning That Matters: Learn about the benefits of inquiry-driven, deep-learning experiences. (Edutopia, 2015)
- The Research Behind Choice and Inquiry-Based Education: Explore a collection of research and success stories. (A.J. Juliani)
- Excerpt From Teaching for Meaningful Learning: Check out a book excerpt to review existing research. (Edutopia, 2008)
Create Learning Environments That Foster Inquiry
- How to Bring ‘More Beautiful’ Questions Back to School: Take a look at five ways to create learning environments that value questions. (KQED’s MindShift, 2016)
- Creating a Culture of Inquiry: Understand how to honor inquiry within assignments and assessments. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Preparing a Classroom Culture for Deeper Learning: Examine five cultural transitions to initiate. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Ten Tips for Launching an Inquiry-Based Classroom: Dive in and try a few of these tips yourself. (KQED's MindShift, 2015)
Plan Curriculum That Supports Inquiry
- Inquiry-Based Learning: An Approach to Educating and Inspiring Kids: Scan an in-depth inquiry-based learning guide for information on techniques and strategies for doing inquiry-based projects in any educational setting. (YouthLearn, 2016)
- Quality Instruction + Differentiation: Find out how to help students relate work to overarching questions. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Four Phases of Inquiry-Based Learning: See how to break out inquiry-based learning into four distinct stages. (TeachThought)
- Teaching Through Inquiry: Learn about "engage, explore, explain, and extend" as an instructional framework. (ASCD, 2013)
- Inquiry-Based Learning in a Literacy & Social Studies Classroom: Take five steps to launch a journey of historical inquiry. (Teaching Channel, 2013)
Use Strategies to Increase Inquiry in the Classroom
- Curiosity: The Force Within a Hungry Mind: Explore ten ways to encourage students to be curious. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Fostering Student Questions: Read about four protocols that can help scaffold student questions. (Edutopia, 2015)
- The Power of Asking the Right Questions: Understand when and how much to help students refocus questions. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Encouraging the Einstein and Edison in Everyone: Discover how to teach creativity. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Learning to Work and Think Like an Artist: Find steps to develop artistic thinking. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Avoiding Learned Helplessness: See how to stop giving answers and instead ask more questions. (Edutopia, 2015)
Conduct Activities That Promote Inquiry
- Query Books: Ask students to chronicle their ideas, ponderings, and questions. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Hackathons: Check out a hackathon playbook to plan activities that provide experiences with overcoming failure. (Edutopia, 2015)
- 20 Percent Time: Try out Genius Hour (a.k.a. 20 Percent Time). (Edutopia, 2013)
- Adventures with Dr. Smallz: Inspire students' need to know with a microscopic doctor lost in a patient's body. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Questions Before Answers: Use great questions that motivate learning. (Edutopia, 2014)
- School in the Cloud: Ask students to investigate a Big Question within a Self-Organized Learning Environment. (School in the Cloud)
Downloads and Examples From Schools That Work
Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, find downloads used by practitioners at featured schools, and dive into real-world examples of inquiry-based learning.
At Wildwood IB World Magnet School, teachers use student questions to drive lessons, and channel student curiosity into student-centered projects. These are a few of Wildwood's inquiry-based teacher tools.
- Curriculum Map for Grades K-5: Download this chart to understand how Wildwood aligns its lines of inquiry to specific curricular themes, central ideas, and key concepts throughout the year.
- Personal Project Questions: Download a worksheet that includes prompts to help students focus and think through the topics of their research.
- Sample Research Worksheet: Download a sample "My Personal Project" worksheet to learn how teachers at Wildwood help students organize plans for projects; students record questions, research notes, unfamiliar vocabulary, and how they will demonstrate what they've learned. For another resource of this type, see Wildwood's Personal Project Planner.
- Personal Project Skills Survey: Download a project skills survey to discover how Wildwood students reflect on the skills they've tapped and personal work habits they've practiced while working on their projects.
See how Ralston Elementary School teachers guide the inquiry process over a series of lessons and teach students how to ask deeper questions to prepare them to lead their own inquiry into specific problems.
Learn how educators at Crellin Elementary School use students' "I Wonder" questions to drive lesson planning, differentiate instruction, and foster student curiosity.
Science students at Casey Middle School begin with a central question and seek answers through research, experimentation, and data analysis. Review a sample question and lesson plan to understand how this works in practice.