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Inquiry Based Learning



Are your students asking and pursuing questions to drive their own learning?


Inquiry Based PD for teachers, school, and district leaders

Our workshops help schools increase the level and quality of inquiry from both teachers and students.

Our Workshops

Available Online or On-Site

Professional development (PD) for teachers, school, and district leaders is an essential component of effective Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) implementation. TeachThought PD helps educators understand the principles and best practices of IBL and provides them with the tools and resources they need to design and implement high-quality teaching and learning that helps prepare students for the modern world.

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Creating A Culture of Inquiry

This workshop gives teachers tools they can use to grow a culture of inquiry in their classrooms. Participants will experience multiple questioning and inquiry strategies that they can use in their classrooms immediately to help prepare learners for the modern world. This workshop provides opportunities for educators to deepen their understanding of inquiry and practice their own inquiry skills. Learn how to pull profound thinking and problem solving from learners using questions to contextualize content and knowledge.


Navigating Uncomfortable Ideas

This workshop will help educators learn how to help their students, themselves, and colleagues engage in uncomfortable and potentially divisive conversations. By applying the democratic ideals as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, workshop participants will gain a better understanding of what it takes to create a culture of conversation that help navigate the complexities of difficult and often divisive topics by engaging in dialogue with best practices.

Leveraging inquiry teaching and learning, participants will build the skills that help discover truth instead of reinforcing ideology and beliefs in ways that support a healthier democracy through heterodox thinking.

Question Formulation Technique

Participants will experience the QFT as a means to better understand the art of questioning. This workshop gives teachers tools they can use immediately to increase the quality and quantity of student inquiry in their classrooms. Participants will consider the many ways the QFT can be employed, from introducing content to assessing learning.

Exploring this inside and outside of the context of course content this workshop helps teachers create a culture where students feel safe and rewarded by asking more beautiful questions. *QFT is also an integral part of our PBL Workshops

What is Inquiry Based Learning?

Inquiry based learning is an instructional approach that uses questions as a tool to help teachers leverage curiosity to help students toward deeper learning. Inquiry teaching and learning can be used in a variety of ways and, despite what some might suggest, does not mean teachers aren’t ‘teaching’ and assessing in ways that might be described as more traditional teaching

By engaging learners through what we sometimes call “pull teaching” instead of “push teaching”, students learn important knowledge along with the development of the vital problem-solving skills of inquiry. 

Inquiry Based Learning Formal Definition

Inquiry based learning can be formally defined in multiple ways. Wikipedia defines it as “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 own knowledge about the subject”.

While there are poorly executed examples of traditional and inquiry teaching, we believe the best practices of each are powerful tools working in conjunction. 

Inquiry Based Learning Examples In the Classroom

Inquiry based learning is an important approach in education, as a culture of inquiry grows problem solving learners with a deeper understanding of important knowledge.

In a classroom setting, inquiry based learning examples can manifest in a variety of ways. Some common examples, teachers may ask students to develop their own hypotheses and design experiments to test them. Students can also be asked to form and defend their own positions on a given topic, or to come up with solutions to a given problem. Inquiry based learning allows students to be creative, think critically, and hone their problem-solving skills.

Here are examples of real-world examples of inquiry based learning in the classroom:

  • Science experiments: Students can design and conduct their own experiments to answer a scientific question.
  • Group projects: Students can work together to investigate a topic, gather information, and present their findings.
  • Project-based learning: Students can work on real-world problems and use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to find solutions.
  • Debate and discussion: Students can engage in debates and discussions on controversial or current events topics to practice critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Field trips and simulations: Students can go on field trips to museums, historical sites, or nature reserves to gather information and explore a topic.
  • Research projects: Students can conduct independent research projects on topics of their interest and present their findings to the class.
  • Case studies: Students can analyze real-life situations and make decisions based on the information available to them.
  • Service learning projects: Students can participate in community service projects to learn about a particular issue and how they can make a difference.

Benefits Of Inquiry Based Learning .

Life is full of challenges. Applying and selecting a college (or alternate path), getting (and staying) married, buying a car, becoming a successful entrepreneur, becoming a good parent…the examples are endless.

Imagine how much more successful people would be if they were in the habit of making a list of questions they need to ask and answer to do that ‘thing’ well.

The future of work is certainly uncertain but we’re confident we’ll need great problem solvers. Great problem solvers find solutions by asking the right questions. Frustratingly much of our school experience is about answers and low-level questions, certainly not the type of Rich Inquiry we strive for in our workshops.

Inquiry Is A Key To Deeper Learning

Mediocre teaching loiters around the landscape of the basic levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, rarely asking learners to think critically. Some teachers extend the learning they’ve ‘frontloaded’ by asking students to apply or made something they would call a project.

The best teachers use inquiry to pull the important content and knowledge (and yes, knowledge is important!) from learners as questions by flipping Bloom’s taxonomy and starting at “Create”. As students analyze, apply, and evaluate that knowledge they make multiple connections and learn it more deeply.

Not only does this approach yield deeper learning that will show up on those accountability tests most teachers worry about but it simultaneously builds inquiry skills that will better prepare them for the modern world. You know, the one beyond the reach of those accountability tests.

I really enjoyed this workshop as a 3rd year teacher because it opened my horizon on new things to do in the classroom. John also demonstrated most of the things he talked about which made it even better to remember.

-Ebonie Thomas, middle school teacher

I have already reached out to our district coordinator and requested more workshops from TeachThought PD.

-Elizabeth MacQuigg, middle school teacher

You will leave this workshop overflowing with ideas, technologies, and strategies that you can implement in your classroom on Monday morning!

-Thomas, HS teacher

Thank you for changing the way I teach!

-Jana McCarthy, elementary teacher

Thank you so much for giving us (the teachers) the tools to make real education happen! Finally!

-Amy Guier, middle school english teacher

This is a must-attend workshop. It really changed my perspective on what exactly I should be teaching through my content.

-Philip Ellis, high school science teacher

We were constantly engaged in group activities and discussion/dialogue. Excellent trainer with a lot of knowledge and understanding about PBL, it took me out of my comfort zone!

-Shafaq Imran, teacher

Thank you very much. I have a new "light" on how to get my students to think on their own and at a deeper level.

-Morgan Payton, middle school ELA teacher

The content is excellent and the presenter was highly effective.

-Jim Whitaker, high school social studies teacher

This is effective and worthwhile professional development.

-Emilie Clemmens, math teacher and curriculum coordinator

I enjoyed the workshop. I am able to use what I learned in my classroom!

-Tonya Jones, elementary teacher

Well designed learning presentations and activities...wonderful enriching learning activity.

-Marlene Burek, Manager of Special Education

Fantastic job facilitating a super helpful workshop. I hope to have an opportunity to attend a TeachThought PD again soon!

-Leann Turner, agriculture sciences teacher

Excellent training, built confidence in teachers to further become facilitators of student learning!

-Ron Lockhart, high school math teacher

I found this to be more informative and useful than any other PD I've participated in.

-Deborah Shirley, Elementary Teacher

Get in touch:
502 373-0040

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