What is Inquiry-based Learning?

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.

An educator and a student explore the features of a birdhouse
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.

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.

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.