Inquiry Strategies

Inquiry instruction consists of students’ posing good questions about content they are learning. These questions then become part of problem-based learning units that stress critical/creative thinking, research and reflection.

These skills of inquiry, problem solving and critical/creative thinking are most important for education in the 21st century. All schools include or imply them in their mission statements. When we are developing more curious minds, we enhance students’ degree of ownership over their own learning. And when we incorporate inquiry within a problem-based learning framework, we are making education more authentic for all students.

Here are some ways of fostering inquiry and problem-based learning:

A. Model our own inquiry processes.
B. Provide opportunities for students to Observe, Think and Question artifacts and experiences related to major concepts.
C. Create authentic problem-based learning scenarios related to core concepts.
D. Establish opportunities to research major questions to engage students in critical/creative thinking.
E. Ensure authentic assessment of 21st century skills and processes.

PDF Downloads:

1. Inquiry at Home

2. Inquiry in Learning Organizations—US Army, GE, Shell and Enron

3. Curricular Approaches

Inquiry in Science
Over the past few years educators working with the Inquiry Network at the American Museum of Natural History have shared some of their approaches to fostering students' curiosities, their searching various resources (including AMNH's on-line resources) for answers and sharing findings. Read their brief stories here:


© 2012 More Curious Minds. All Rights Reserved.