Inquiry-based learning begins with a question, problem or idea. It involves children in planning and carrying out investigations, proposing explanations and solutions, and communicating their understanding of concepts in a variety of ways. Throughout the inquiry process, children observe, raise questions, and critique their practices. It is an approach that encourages collaboration and can be used effectively in a trans-disciplinary way or in most subject areas.
If utilised effectively, possible characteristics may include: active, agentic, collaborative, creative, scaffolded.
Inquiry learning unpacked
- initiate the inquiry through a question, problem or idea
- support children to theorise, hypothesise and wonder
- provide opportunities for children to become more confident and autonomous problem-solvers and thinkers
- organise for learning experiences extending beyond singular activities, that can be repeated or returned to, and that lend themselves to active engagement in purposeful learning.
- initiate the inquiry by posing factual and exploratory questions based on personal interests and experiences
- work as researchers, inferring, hypothesising, predicting, investigating, experimenting and recording
- use skills in decision-making, planning and problem solving
- reflect, rethink, reframe their questions, problems or ideas
- share new learning with others and plan for future learning.
approaches of age-appropriate pedagogies in action: inquiry learning to further explore the approach.