What is Inquiry-based Learning?

An educator and a student explore the features of a birdhouse

An engaging process

Inquiry-based learning is a dynamic and emergent process that builds on students’ knowledge about the world. Inquiry places ideas at the centre of the learning experience. An inquiry-based approach encourages students to investigate their own questions, while teachers provide a variety of tools, resources, and experiences that enable learners to investigate, reflect, and discuss their questions and findings.

A knowledge building circle in a Grade 1 classroom at JICS

A pedagogical mindset

An inquiry-based approach fosters a culture of collaborative learning and idea improvement. Teachers encourage students to contribute their ideas and engage in critical problem-solving processes.  Questions are highly valued because it encourages active and engaged learning.  The teachers role is to support their students in deepening their understanding of concepts in a way that meets student needs.

Exploring Math Concepts through Inquiry

OISE MA students have created a series of documents that explore the use of inquiry in mathematics subject areas. Please follow the link to see how inquiry is used in areas such as division, the concept of “zero”, an Al Abacus, robotics and more.

Exploring Math Concepts through Inquiry

Insight on Inquiry Videos: JICS Educators share their Expertise

Teacher Discussion: What is the Inquiry Process?

Thank you to Zoe Donoahue, Julie Comay, Carol Stephenson, Ben Peebles, Cindy Halewood and Elizabeth Morley, for sharing their expertise and learning.

Insight on Inquiry: Starting the Year in Kindergarten

Kindergarten teacher Carol Stephenson brings us inside her classroom to share how she fosters inquiry-based learning at the very beginning of the school year. Carol teaches at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, the lab school at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto).

Insight on Inquiry: Celebrating student work in kindergarten

Kindergarten teacher Carol Stephenson brings us back inside her classroom to share how she honours her students’ work at the end of an inquiry-based exploration. Carol teaches at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, the lab school at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto).

Natural Curiosity: A resource for teachers

Environmental Inquiry

Natural Curiosity – www.naturalcuriosity.ca

Environmental Inquiry is an overarching approach to environmental education that combines inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, integrated learning, and stewardship. It is based on a transformative vision of education, one that seeks to develop not only skilled and knowledgeable students, but also environmentally and socially-conscious world citizens with a love of learning. Natural Curiosity is a must-have resource for teachers looking to include more environmental inquiry in their classroom.