Inquiry Resources

Additional Inquiry-Based Learning Resources

A Teacher Self-Assessment: Strengthening Our Approach to Inquiry

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A teacher’s beliefs in their ability to facilitate an inquiry influences how they approach inquiry in their classroom. What we believe about our ability to be successful may be affected by our need for control and what we think our students can do
John Hattie lists a teacher’s estimate of student achievement in the top three of 252 influences that impact student achievement. The article takes you through steps will help you reflect on your current beliefs about inquiry and identify next steps you can implement right away!

How Every Inquiry Teacher is a DJ : Meet the Responsive Teaching Console

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If inquiry, as a stance and as a pedagogy, requires flexibility and responsiveness, how might you intentionally prepare your students and yourself for the dynamic task? One way of doing this is by naming (some of) the elements or conditions at play during an inquiry experience. Timing, available resources, content and processes are a few of many lesson elements. This article unpacks each element, as four examples of many, and shows you how you might dial it up in your own context.
Watch the video: Setting the stage for responsive teaching presented by Misty Paterson where she explains the Responsive teaching Console

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Run Time: 5:32 - June 29, 2017
This short film from filmmaker Andrew Norton tackles the nebulous origins of inspiration. Does a good idea strike like a bolt of lightning, or does it emerge from a soup of random ingredients cooked at just the right temperature?You might wish to compare this clip to the popular and beautiful book by Kobi Yamada: What do you do with an idea?

Student-Driven Learning

Run Time: 5:25 - Dec 16, 2015
Watch how Ralston Elementary School is creating a culture of inquiry to nourish 21st-century learners.

Essential Questions that Encourage Inquiry-Based Learning

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Source: Future Focused Learning

PD: Asking Questions that Encourage Inquiry-Based Learning*

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*This is a good resource for PD to promote questioning that encourages inquiry-Based learning
Source: 2010 Centre for Research In Mathematics Education University of Nottingham
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How to Get Students to Ask Good Questions, and Drive Deeper Learning

It won’t come as a huge surprise to educators: Sometimes good questions are more productive than right answers.

That was the conclusion of a 2020 study, too. Students who studied a topic and then composed their own questions scored 14 percentage points higher on a test than students who used passive strategies like studying their notes and rereading materials. Creating questions, the researchers found, not only encouraged students to think more deeply about the topic but also strengthened their ability to remember the material.

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Quality matters, and you can move kids from simple yes/no questions to more penetrating inquiry by guiding them toward questions that start with “explain,” or that use “how” and “why” framing. Alternatively, you can use class time to identify the characteristics of higher-order questions—those that require analysis or synthesis, for example—then collect student questions and discuss them as a group.

Source: Edutopia & Wiley Online Library

Provocations to Spark Your Students to Think, Wonder and Question

The following websites offer a wide spectrum of provocations for students to pique their curiosity and get them thinking, wondering and speaking about topics that intertest them. These are wonderful conversation starters that can lead to the development of critical thinking, listening and oracy skills that can support your units of inquiry.

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Connecting to the Environment

[Kath Murdoch]

Run Time: 51:28- Sept 17 2022
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Host Kevin O’Shea chats with well-known consultant and educator, Kath Murdoch. Kath is a celebrated author and inquiry-based education thinker, but she is also a passionate environmentalist and lover of all things nature. Kath talks about sparking curiosity through nature, but also about how we need much deeper connections and understandings of the environment in order to make lasting and meaningful change. To protect the natural world we need to grow deep-rooted personal connections to it.


Source: Nature Talks Podcast

Also, you may be interested in reading Kath's blog: Experiencing The Cycle of Inquiry where she reflects on the concept of an Inquiry cycle.

Ideas for Inquiry-Based Learning

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Source: Sylvia Duckworth

Powerful Questions for Inquiry

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Source: Sylvia Duckworth

Questions to Promote Thinking

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Source: Inovative Global Education

Guided Student Journal to Support Inquiry in the PYP

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(Note: this is a large document and Google will ask if you want to download it. It is virus free.). Source: Toddle

Toddle's Chris Gadbury has created a wonderful guided inquiry journal for PYP students. It is a collection of thinking tools that will encourage students to ask questions, reflect, and apply their understandings and skills. 

*** Check out his video walkthrough of the document. 

The guided student journal includes:

Unit of Inquiry Planning Process & Resources

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Source: Micheal Hughes
This wonderful resource created by Micheal Hughes includes a wide variety of planning/teaching/learning resources that teachers can use while creating a Unit of Inquiry.
Also see: Visible Thinking Routines & Concept-Based Inquiry in Action (book)  & Tools & Strategies

Rubric for Becoming an Inquiry-Based Teacher

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How are your Inquiry skills? Find out by using this rubric. It is a good self-assessment tool.
Source: Adapted from Douglas J. Llewellyn's book Inquire Within: Implementing Inquiry- and Argument-Based Science Standards in Grades 3-8 Third Edition

How To Get into Inquiry-Based Learning: Part 1

First Steps to Inquiry

Run Time: 3:43 - Aug 16, 2016

How To Get into Inquiry-Based Learning: Part 2

Working Towards Open Inquiry

Run Time: 6:34 - Aug 16, 2016

How To Get into Inquiry-Based Learning: Part 3

Five Skills to Become an Inquiry Teacher

Run Time: 6:19 - Aug 19, 2016

How To Get Into Inquiry-Based Learning: Part 4

Four Inquiry Skills to Nurture and Assess

Run Time: 3:59 - Aug 19, 2016

Taking the Pulse of Inquiry in Your Classroom

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How well are you implementing Inquiry? Find out by using this self-assessment tool.
Source: Making Good Humans Blog - Adapted by Ellen Manson 2016

Helping Students Think About Their Learning

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Podcast: Interview Kimberly Mitchell About Inquiry-Based Learning

Podcast - Transdisciplinary.mp3
Created by RACHEL FRENCH FRENCHSource: Professional Learning International - 1:02:03 - Jan 10, 2019
Angeline Aow interviews Kimberly L. Mitchell about inquiry. Kimberly, originally from Seattle, is the author of Experience Inquiry and an internationally-recognized speaker on inquiry-based instruction. Kimberly is a former teacher, International Baccalaureate (IB) principal in Greece, senior program officer at the Gates Foundation, and director for Teach for All in Argentina. She is the former Chair of the IB Americas Regional Council, where she consulted with associations and heads of IB schools from Canada to Chile. Her work is guided by the belief that It’s not how far you go, but how deep you go, that mines the gold of experience. To find out more about Kimberly and her work, visit her website or follow her on Twitter!

Inquiry: Thoughts, Views & Strategies

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Strategy for Promoting Critical Thinking

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Inquirers are Creative

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Source: Sylvia Duckworth

Benefits of Creativity

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Source: Sylivia Duckworth

Strategies to Improve Feedback

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You are invited to explore Tom Barrett’s fifty-page resource which is packed full of protocols, strategies and practical ideas to support feedback.
Source: Tom Barrett's Blog

Power of Curiosity - Lesson Plan (Gr 3-5)

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Students will uncover the significance of  embracing curiosity and celebrating questions.
Source: Global Oneness Project

Divergent & Convergent Thinking Models

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Source: Sylvia Duckworth

Using Inquiry to Support Deeper Learning

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Inquiry - Starting the Year in Kindergarten

Run Time: 7:03 - Oct 17, 2016

Inquiry-Based Articles

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Books That Support Inquiry-Based Learning

Getting Personal with Inquiry Learning:

 Guiding Learners' Explorations of Personal Passions, Interests and Questions

By: Kath Murdoch

“This book is Kath Murdoch's masterpiece. It is immaculately researched, carefully argued, elegantly written, beautifully produced, and above all, incredibly useful and practical.”—Guy Claxton, author of The Future of Teaching

In Getting Personal with Inquiry Learning, world-renowned inquiry expert, Kath Murdoch, draws on decades of experience to offer a thorough, practical guide to supporting young learners’ investigations into their passions, interests and questions. 

Click/Tap to Continue ISBN-13 :‎79-8985137415 / Elevate Books Edu (May 3, 2022) / 176 pages

Following her best-selling Power of Inquiry, this book invites teachers to take their thinking about inquiry to the next level and to truly honour both their own and their students’ agency.

Getting Personal with Inquiry Learning offers educators a compelling argument for providing young people with opportunities to pursue their interests at school and provides a myriad of practical strategies to make this effective and manageable. Rich with classroom examples, templates to guide planning and accompanied by advice from a range of highly respected educators from around the world, this book beautifully connects theory and practice—achieving depth and accessibility.

Bonus: Check out this video where Kath chats about her new book - it's worth a view.

The Power of Inquiry

By: Kath Murdoch
*** Customers outside Australia and New Zealand are able to purchase through the Follett IB store

How can we create learning environments that cultivate curiosity and grow young people as confident, capable and creative inquirers?  How can we ensure that our teaching nurtures rather than diminishes the sense of wonder with which we are all born? How can we become better inquirers as we teach?

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--- How can we help our students grow as thinkers, collaborators, self-managers, communicators and researchers as they inquire? The Power of Inquiry is an inspiring and comprehensive guide to the implementation of quality inquiry practices in the contemporary classroom. Organized around ten essential questions, each chapter provides both a theoretical and practical overview of the elements that combine to create learning environments rich in purpose and passion. 

Concept-Based Inquiry in Action: Strategies to Promote Transferable Understanding

by Carla Marschall, Rachel French

Create a thinking classroom that helps students move from the factual to the conceptual.

Concept-Based Inquiry is a framework for inquiry that promotes deep understanding. The key is using guiding questions to help students inquire into concepts and the relationships between them.

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Concept-Based Inquiry in Action provides teachers with the tools and resources necessary to organize and focus student learning around concepts and conceptual relationships that support the transfer of understanding. Step by step, the authors lead both new and experienced educators to implement teaching strategies that support the realization of inquiry-based learning for understanding in any K–12 classroom.

by Philip Cam

Philosophical Inquiry shows how to use the tools of philosophy for educational purposes. It is a practical guide to the philosophical arts of questioning, conceptual exploration and reasoning, with wide application across the school curriculum. It provides educators with an effective means of teaching students to think critically and creatively, to use their knowledge to solve problems, to deal with issues, to explore possibilities and work with ideas. 

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Philosophical Inquiry emphasizes the use of collaborative learning, through class discussion, working with a partner, and small group work. This approach teaches students to think in socially responsible ways. It means that students become not only thinking individuals but also good team-players, with benefits that extend beyond the classroom and the school to community life and the world of work.

by Sir Ken Robinson

Two books written by Sir Ken Robinson and recommended by Kath Murdoch are: The Element which introduces readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment through the convergence of natural talents and personal passions and Finding Your Element which helps people find their own Element. 

**Finding Your Element: Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk video

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The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transform­ing education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century.

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk video and groundbreaking book, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment through the convergence of natural talents and personal passions. The Element has inspired readers all over the world and has created for Robinson an intensely devoted following. Now comes the long-awaited companion, the practical guide that helps people find their own Element. Among the questions that this new book answers are:

Finding Your Element comes at a critical time as concerns about the economy, education and the environment continue to grow. The need to connect to our personal talents and passions has never been greater.  As Robinson writes in his introduction, wherever you are, whatever you do, and no matter how old you are, if you’re searching for your Element, this book is for you.

by Jay McTighe , Harvey F. Silver 
Recommended by Kath Murdoch

Far too often, our students attain only a superficial level of knowledge that fails to prepare them for deeper challenges in school and beyond. In Teaching for Deeper Learning, renowned educators and best-selling authors Jay McTighe and Harvey F. Silver propose a solution: teaching students to make meaning for themselves. 

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Contending that the ability to "earn" understanding will equip students to thrive in school, at work, and in life, the authors highlight seven higher-order thinking skills that facilitate students' acquisition of information for greater retention, retrieval, and transfer. These skills, which cut across content areas and grade levels and are deeply embedded in current academic standards, separate high achievers from their low-performing peers.

Drawing on their deep well of research and experience, the authors

If our goal is to prepare students to meet the rigorous demands of school, college, and career, then we must foster their ability to respond to such challenges. This comprehensive, practical guide will enable teachers to engage students in the kind of learning that yields enduring understanding and valuable skills that they can use throughout their lives.

by Ian Gilbert

The Little Book of Thunks follows on the success of Ian Gilbert's bestseller, Big Book of Independent Thinking. What is a "Thunk?" A "Thunk" is a beguiling question about everyday things that stops you in your tracks but that helps you start to think.  Thunks are wonderful examples of provocations that can be used to stimulate inquiry. Also check out A Tin of Thunks. 

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The "thunks" in the book cover a broad range of topics including truth, justice, reality, beliefs, the natural world, the human condition, art, beauty, existence, difference between right and wrong, good and bad, life and death, war, religion, love, friendship and a whole lot more. Some examples of "thunks" are:

Not only are "thunks" a fun way to develop thinking skills, but they also hit all the right buttons to encourage children to generate imaginative ideas to stimulate thinking and inquiry; look at and think about things differently and from other points of view; provide examples of what good provocations look like; and ask why, how, what if, or other unusual questions. 

Remember, because there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, they are a great resource for teachers to use in the classroom in a myriad of situations or for conversation starters.

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