Our Inquiry Approach to Teaching and Learning

Our Inquiry Approach to Teaching and Learning

We believe that all students benefit from a balance of inquiry learning and explicit instruction. Inquiry learning facilitates the development of transdisciplinary skills (social, thinking, research, communication and self-management)  which have been identified as essential for learners in the twenty first century.

The questions young people ask remind us that the search for meaning is fundamental to what it is to be human. The urge to inquire activates thinking on many levels and in many forms. When we seek to make sense of the world around us, we wonder, we plan, we analyse, we create, we reflect. At its very heart, inquiry is all about thinking - thinking in order to make meaning.

Inquiry, as the leading pedagogical approach of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP), is recognized as allowing students to be actively involved in their own learning and to take responsibility for that learning. Inquiry allows each student's understanding of the world to develop in a manner and at a rate that is unique to that learner.

What does Inquiry look like?

Inquiry, interpreted in the broadest sense, is the process initiated by the student or the teacher that moves the student from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding. As learners, we all have experiences from which we draw when facing new challenges. Inquiry is the process by which a learner uses his/her  background knowledge to approach new situations, and asks questions to find out more.

In an inquiry classroom students can be seen and heard:

  • exploring, wondering and questioning
  • experimenting and playing with possibilities
  • making connections between previous and current learning
  • making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
  • collecting data and reporting findings
  • clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
  • deepening understanding through the application of a concept
  • making and testing theories
  • researching and seeking information
  • taking and defending a position, and
  • solving problems in a variety of ways.

To read more about Our Inquiry Approach to Teaching and Learning, please click here.