Neuroscience Complexity with Inquiry-Based Learning

The literature states that inquiry requires multiple cognitive processes and variables, such as causality and co-occurrence that enrich with age and experience. Kuhn, et al. (2000) used explicit training workshops to teach children in grades six to eight in the United States how to inquire through a quantitative study. By completing an inquiry-based task at the end of the study, the participants demonstrated enhanced mental models by applying different inquiry strategies. In a similar study, Kuhan and Pease (2008) completed a longitudinal quantitative study following a set of American children from grades four to six to investigate the effectiveness of scaffolding strategies for inquiry. Results demonstrated that children benefitted from the scaffolding because they outperformed the grade seven control group on an inquiry task. Understanding the neuroscience of inquiry learning the scaffolding process related to it should be reinforced for Ontario's primary teachers as part of their training.