What is Inquiry?

Effective inquiry is more than just asking questions. Inquiry-based learning is a complex process where students formulate questions, investigate to find answers, build new understandings, meanings and knowledge, and then communicate their learnings to others. In classrooms where teachers emphasize inquiry-based learning, students are actively involved in solving authentic (real-life) problems within the context of the curriculum and/or community. These powerful learning experiences engage students deeply. Research suggests that inquiry-based learning increases student creativity, independence, and problem solving skills, and it improves student achievement.
- http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/aisi/themes/inquiry.aspx

An Introduction to Inquiry (11 min.)

Inquiry Frameworks

Alberta Learning. (2004). Focus on inquiry: A teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning.
A comprehensive “how to” guide for implementing inquiry based learning. Although 133 pages long, this resource offers in-depth support for a teacher attempting inquiry based learning. An inquiry model with six phases is offered: planning, retrieving, processing, creating, sharing, and evaluating. Although ten years old, this document offers an effective research model.

British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ Association. (2011). The points of inquiry: A framework for information literacy and the 21st century learner.
BCTLA offers a more modern version of Alberta’s inquiry model. The Points of Inquiry use the symbol of a star and correspondingly has 5 phases: connect and wonder, investigate, construct, express, and reflect. They have combined Alberta’s “retrieving” and “processing” phases into one: “investigate”. As well, this document uses the lens of information literacy to inform their interpretation of inquiry. That being said, 21st century learning, multiple literacies and technology are also considered, making this a document relevant to digital literacy.



Small Explanation of Resource
Additional Materials

A teachers inquiry based course
A teacher has decided to take a course and make each unit into an inquiry. This is an example of how students make their questions and explore. As well, how a teacher covers the PLO's.