For an educator, the key to success with any student would be to ensure engagement with the material they are learning. More often than not, that is easier said than done. For many students, the traditional classroom approach is unengaging. As a result, they aren’t effectively learning or understanding the material being taught. This is where the role of inquiry-based learning comes in.
What Is Inquiry-Based Learning
Inquiry-based learning is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios. It contrasts with traditional education, which generally relies on the teacher presenting facts and their knowledge about the subject. As an approach, it emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas.
Inquiry-based learning uses different approaches to learning, including small-group discussions and guided learning. Instead of memorizing facts and material, students learn by doing. This allows them to build knowledge through exploration, experience, and discussion.
The Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning
As per research, human beings are able to retain 75% of what they do, compared to 5% of what they hear and 10% of what they read. Inquiry-based learning allows students to better understand and recall material by actively engaging with it and making their own connections. Following are a few addition benefits of inquiry-based learning.
Teaches necessary skills for multiple areas of learning
As students explore a topic, it enables them to build critical thinking and communication skills. The cognitive skills that students develop can be used to improve comprehension in not just education but also in day-to-day life.
Enables curiosity in students
An inquiry-based learning approach lets students share their own ideas and questions. This helps foster more curiosity about the material and teaches skills students can use to continue exploring topics they are interested in.
Deepens understanding of topics
Rather than simply memorizing, students make their own connections based on what they learn. This allows them to gain a better understanding of topics and concepts than they would have by just memorizing and recalling.
Increases engagement with the material
As a form of active learning, this approach encourages students to fully engage in the learning process. By allowing students to explore topics, and ask questions, they are able to learn more effectively.
Creates a passion for learning
Inquiry-based learning is designed to teach students to be lifelong learners. When students are able to engage with the material in their own way, not only are they able to gain a deeper understanding—they are able to develop a passion for exploration and learning.
Education should focus on every aspect of a student’s success and enable a program that works with students based on their unique learning style. That is the belief between inquiry-based learning. By balancing one-on-one instruction with self-directed work, we can encourage independence and help students discover true motivation.