Inquiry based learning

Inquiry based learning helps meets the needs of 21st Century learners.

Meeting the needs of 21st century learners is a critical component of any effective teaching program.  Inquiry based learning helps meet modern learning needs by challenging student thinking, extending present realities, and increasing knowledge through thinking, questioning, and investigating. 


The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) maintain that inquiry based learning is a process of identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas.  


ACARA also posit inquiry learning is a fundamental proponent of understanding the self and others due to the critical and creative thinking that is involved in reaching answers to questions.

According to leading educational bodies such as ASCD and Unesco, quality curriculum design takes a backwards approach by first asking:

  • What is most important for students to KNOW?

  • What is most important for students to be able to DO?

  • What kind of person do we want students to BE?

A quality curriculum design that meets the needs of 21st Century Learners:

  • establishes a clear philosophy and set of overarching goals that guide the entire program and the decisions that affect each aspect of the program;

  • outlines a basic framework for what to do, how to do it, when to do it and how to know if it has been achieved;

  • allows for flexibility and encourages experimentation and innovation within an overall structure;

  • promotes interdisciplinary approaches and the integration of curricula when appropriate;

  • suggests methods of assessing the achievement of the program's goals and objectives;

  • outlines clear Learning Intentions and Success Criteria (unless being created with students);

  • provides direction for procurement of resources to implement the program.