WHAT IS INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING?
Inquiry-based learning is designed to develop students' skills as critical thinkers, interdisciplinary problem-solvers, researchers, and communicators.
Typically, inquiry-based learning begins with a complex question. The exploration of that complex question becomes the occasion for students to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to unpack the question, to examine the existing perspectives, approaches, and methodologies that have been used to address the question, and then to examine, develop, and validate possible answers.
In inquiry-based learning, students look at the question from many different perspectives. They draw on information and knowledge from a variety of disciplines. And they become aware that the solution they come up with is only one of many possible solutions. In inquiry-based learning, students learn how to learn and become flexible and adaptable in their thinking.
Fedderson, Kim. Interview with Agora Online. "Dr. Kim Fedderson Returns to Lakehead University as Orilla Campus Dean." Ed. Frances Harding. Nov./Dec. 2007, Volume 24. No.5.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS?
What is an essential question?
no simple or single right answer
addressed through reason rather than opinion/belief
unique, often counterintuitive or controversial
answers through problem solving (not found, but invented)
generate new questions
addresss fundamental issues
interdisiciplinary concepts, central to greater understanding