George Lucas Educational Foundation

Inquiry-Based Learning

Instead of just presenting the facts, use questions, problems, and scenarios to help students learn through their own agency and investigation.

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  • Teaching Through Asking Rather Than Telling

    High school teachers can promote active learning by strategically replacing some direct instruction with questions that produce thoughtful conversations.
    Jay Schauer
  • Exploring Before Explaining Sparks Learning

    New elementary science teachers can build student engagement and enhance learning by using the explore-before-explain approach.
  • How to Use the 5E Model in Your Science Classroom

    An inquiry-focused method gives students a way to connect scientific ideas to their experiences and apply their learning.
  • Direct Instruction or Inquiry-Based Learning? 

    It’s not either/or: Rather than choosing direct instruction or inquiry-based learning, educators strategically use both methods.
  • How IB Strategies Can Enhance Project-Based Learning

    With shared emphases on inquiry, student voice, and choice, PBL and International Baccalaureate methods can combine to facilitate meaningful learning.
  • Having Students Document Scientific Phenomena Outside the Classroom

    Middle school science teachers can have students explore the natural world, strengthening their scientific habits of mind.
  • Inquiry-Based Tasks in Social Studies

    Assignments that are bigger than a lesson and smaller than a unit are a good way to experiment with inquiry-based learning.
  • A Focus on Equity in Math Instruction

    Math teachers can use short activities based on student goals related to equity in order to make classes feel more inclusive and accessible.
  • Getting First Graders Started With Research

    Teaching academically honest research skills helps first graders learn how to collect, organize, and interpret information.
  • How to Engage Students in Historical Thinking Using Everyday Objects

    Asking students to examine their own possessions from the perspective of a historian in the future helps them sharpens their analytical skills.
  • Using Inquiry to Create Inspiring Field Trips

    When students approach a field trip with the goal of answering their own questions, they get to be in charge of what they learn
  • Hands-On Learning and the SDGs

    A look at a few ways to incorporate the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals across the curriculum.
  • Creating Challenging Learning Experiences

    When teachers leverage inquiry, students use their critical thinking skills to examine multiple perspectives and find ways to improve our world.
  • Want Mastery? Let Students Find Their Own Way

    Prominent scholars say that to drive deeper learning, students need to become accustomed to confusion—and develop the persistence to find their own answers.
  • Putting Students in Charge of Their Learning Journey

    By leaving space in their lessons for authentic curiosity to take hold, teachers can enable deeper learning.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation

Edutopia is a free source of information, inspiration, and practical strategies for learning and teaching in preK-12 education. We are published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.
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