The Inquiry Process
Many inquiry learning models abound. Some examples are:
The Big6 which uses task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation as problem solving methods.
The Research Cycle based on questioning, planning, gathering, sorting and sifting, synthesising, evaluating and reporting.
5E model consisting of engagement, explanation, exploration, elaboration and evaluation,
Hoepper and McDonald which comprises of motivation, exploration, questioning, research, analysis, presentation, action, and reflection.
All models have some differences and some may be better suited to different learning areas, however all inquiry models centre on thinking, asking and answering questions, tuning in, finding, sorting, and evaluating information, reflection, and further action if necessary.
Inquiry learning often uses rich tasks where students explain and demonstrate their understanding through presentation of their findings. This presentation may take many forms as allowing choice in assessment builds capacity for learning and can align with both strengths and interests. Authentic assessment tasks such as portfolios, verbal explanations, self-devised rubrics, exhibitions, digital stories, and 3D models exhibit learning in rich ways. The video file Inquiry Based Learning further explains assessment choice with inquiry learning in a classroom and how it allows children to own their learning.
Essential and subsidary questions are asked early in the inquiry process.
Students are required to:
form their own opinions
research their answers
demonstrate critical thinking skills