Why should we teach using Inquiry-based Methods?

By learning using inquiry-based science children learn how science is conducted, its limitation and its strengths. They begin to gain an understanding of what science means. This is important because it allows them to understand and demystify what scientists do. It also allows children to think for themselves, become critical of information they are given, develop their problem solving skills, and evaluate what they are told.

These skills are important for future scientists to develop, but it is also important that all students possess these skills. The skills used in science are used more and more in everyday life. In today’s information rich world it is important everybody has the skills to use the information they have. For example it is important we can evaluate what politicians are telling us and evaluate it. Many of the problems the world faces today such as global warming are caused by technological and scientific progress, it is important that citizens have the ability to understand these problems.

Another important reason to use inquiry-based methods is that students are not empty vessels waiting to be filled with scientific knowledge. They actively construct new knowledge that either fits in with previous knowledge (assimilation) or deconstructs and replaces previous knowledge (accommodation). Inquiry-based science teaching requires students to surface their prior knowledge and assumptions and examine them in the light of natural phenomena. This facilitates either means of acquiring new knowledge.