What is Inquiry-based Learning?

In traditional learning, students depend on the information provided to them during the learning process. They are asked questions to confirm their understanding, but they are never able to inquire about the topic at hand.

To revolutionize the way students learn, inquiry-based learning was introduced in the classroom. Unlike how students learn in a traditional setting, inquiry-based learning goes beyond the information handed to the students. In inquiry based learning, students are encouraged to ask questions for an in-depth understanding of the topic.

The Difference of Inquiry-based Learning from Traditional Learning

In traditional learning, teachers focus on making students master the content. In inquiry-based learning, an inquiring attitude is encouraged, leading the way for the development of skills they need to be successful in the real world. While traditional learning is focused on providing them with skills so they can advance from one grade level to another, inquiry-based learning is more focused on learning the content, inquiring about it for deeper understanding, and then developing students’ ability to process information and solve problems.

Inquiry-Based Learning: The Power of Asking

One misconception about inquiry-based learning is that it is only about asking questions. However, if you seek to understand the process and observe a classroom that implements this new learning process, one will realize that inquiry-based learning is so much more about inquiring.

Students are not just spectators when it comes to inquiry-based learning. They are active participants in the learning process. They can gain in-depth knowledge through inquiring, and they can apply the knowledge appropriately since they understand the subject very well. Asking questions or inquiring on the learners’ side is just the first step. When students ask during lectures, laboratory group work, and other school activities, they can gain perspective on the topic and how they can apply the new learning in the real world.

The Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning

In inquiry-based learning, the process of learning is not limited to the resources that can be found in the classroom. Students are empowered to search for answers from all the available resources they have, including the use of technology. Students can freely search the Internet or use apps where they can find more useful information. This way, they can learn firsthand while their ability to search for answers as they inquire is also enhanced. The result is students who are independent, creative, digitally proficient, critical thinkers, and problem solvers, all through the aid of Inquiry-based Learning.

To make inquiry-based learning successful, teachers need to let go of control in the learning process and let the learners explore the topic. They should guide them and help them in inquiring with in-depth understanding as the purpose and not to deviate from the subject. Last but not the least, technology should be involved so students can take over their learning and retain the information they gathered through digital devices. They can also download a PDF reader like Kami to save their notes and lectures while making personal comments and annotations for reference so that they can easily refer to all the information in case there’s a need to go back to it.

Have you implemented an Inquiry-Based Learning curriculum in your classroom? Share your experiences with us below.

Maria Dublin
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Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.