Fostering Curiosity: The Value of Inquiry-Based Learning

Fostering Curiosity: The Value of Inquiry-Based Learning

“The future belongs to the curious”—this famous quote by John C Maxwell is more relevant today than ever. In the changing world we live in, curiosity drives innovation and progress. To foster curiosity, educators and parents alike use a popular teaching technique known as inquiry-based learning.

What is inquiry-based learning, and how does it foster creativity?

Our article aims to answer those questions and shed light on the value of inquiry-based learning in today’s education system.

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is an educational approach that focuses on student-driven curiosity, investigation, and critical thinking.

Students investigate a problem or question, using evidence-based reasoning and problem-solving skills to reach a conclusion.

Meanwhile, teachers and tutors concentrate on nurturing students’ capabilities and offering guidance during the investigative journey, knowing when to commence and how to organise an inquiry activity.

Inquiry-Based Activities

Educators and parents use different types of inquiry-based activities to foster curiosity in students. Some of the common ones include:

  • Case studies
  • Group projects
  • Research projects
  • Fieldwork

Activities can be customised based on the student’s age and learning goals.

4 Types of Inquiry-Based Learning

There are 4 types of inquiry-based learning, each structured to suit different settings.

1. Confirmation Inquiry: Students are presented with a question, its answer, and the corresponding method. The aim is for students to investigate and apply critical thinking to understand the underlying processes.
2. Structured Inquiry: Students are presented with an open question along with an investigation method. Their task is to use the method to form a conclusion based on evidence.
3. Guided Inquiry: Students are presented with an open question, usually in group settings, where they formulate a methodology to arrive at a conclusion.
4. Open Inquiry: Students are given the opportunity and support to formulate unique inquiries, which they explore using their own approaches. They then share their findings at the conclusion.

The Value of Inquiry-Based Learning

With a better understanding of inquiry-based learning, you can now appreciate its value in the education system.

Here are some benefits of inquiry-based learning that make it a truly valuable teaching approach:

Promotes a Deeper Understanding

A student who inquires on their own is motivated to explore the topic in-depth. This method allows students to develop a broader perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Let’s give you an example;

A student who is given a project on the water cycle will go beyond memorising the steps and definitions. Instead, they will explore questions such as “Why does the water cycle exist?” or “How does it contribute to sustaining life on Earth?”.

This encourages critical thinking and allows students to make connections between concepts in a more meaningful way.

Develops Problem-Solving Skills

Inquiry-based learning places emphasis on solving problems using evidence-based reasoning.

In the adult world, we constantly face challenges that require us to think critically and creatively.

Students who learn how to effectively solve problems at an early age will have a competitive advantage in their future careers.

Reinforces the Curriculum

Inquiry-based learning is not a separate curriculum; instead, it is an approach to teaching that can be applied to any subject.

This makes it easier for teachers to incorporate this method into their lesson plans while meeting educational standards.

Helps with Learning

Curiosity prepares the brain for learning.

When a student completes an inquiry-based activity, his or her brain is more receptive to new information.

This is because the process of asking questions and seeking answers triggers the release of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation, pleasure, and learning.

Builds Initiative & Self-Esteem

Taking your initiative and finding a conclusion provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem.

Inquiry-based learning empowers students to take ownership of their work and the outcome.

Whether the conclusion is correct or not, the process of actively seeking answers and problem-solving builds confidence and independence – a skill that will benefit students throughout their lives.

Start Fostering Curiosity Today!

Through inquiry-based learning, educators and parents can open the minds of young students to the wonders of the world and ignite their passion for learning.

Our tutors at Tutor Doctor strongly believe in the power of curiosity and incorporate this approach into their teaching methods.

If you feel that your child needs more exposure to inquiry-based learning, contact us, and we will connect you with a tutor who can help foster your child’s curiosity.

Remember, the world is full of endless possibilities waiting to be explored by the curious!

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