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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  • Using Science News Events to Create Engaging Lessons

    Developing a bit of a mystery for students to explore when teaching new developments in science can really build engagement in learning.
    Shawn Sutton
  • Exploring Before Explaining Sparks Learning

    New elementary science teachers can build student engagement and enhance learning by using the explore-before-explain approach.
  • Self-Guided Learning in Outdoor Play Areas

    Pre-K teachers can create outdoor play areas that serve as an extension of the classroom and foster social and emotional learning.
  • Using ChatGPT to Support Student-Led Inquiry

    Positioning AI as a mentor or simulator of real-world scenarios can promote student inquiry and aid project-based learning.
  • Teaching Students About Systems Thinking

    These strategies guide students to explore the interconnected parts of complex systems like the human body, governments, and ecosystems.
  • A young girl is smiling, standing at the front of the class and reading, and her teacher and peers are clapping for her.

    What the Heck Is Inquiry-Based Learning?

    Teachers use inquiry-based learning to combat the “dunno” -- a chronic problem in student engagement. Check out these four steps for creating inquiry-based curriculum.
  • Blending Direct Instruction and Inquiry-Based Learning

    When teachers combine the best parts of these two strategies, they create a learning-centered model.
  • Using Inquiry-Based Learning to Encourage Student Agency

    Curiosity is a powerful tool that can be harnessed to guide middle school students to come up with solutions to real problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

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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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