Alan Colburn, in “An Inquiry Primer,” defines inquiry as “the creation of a classroom where students are engaged in essentially open-ended, student-centered, hands-on activities.”
Inquiry-based learning (also enquiry–based learning in British English) starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The process is often assisted by a facilitator.
An old adage states: “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.” The last part of this statement is the essence of inquiry-based learning, says our workshop author Joe Exline. Inquiry implies involvement that leads to understanding. Furthermore, involvement in learning implies possessing skills and attitudes that permit you to seek resolutions to questions and issues while you construct new knowledge.