Inquiry-based Instruction

Inquiry-based instruction is a teaching technique in which teachers create situations in which students are to solve problems. Lessons are designed so that students make connections to previous knowledge, bring their own questions to learning, investigate to satisfy their own questions and design ways to try out their ideas. Such investigations may extend over a long period of time. Students communicate through journal writing, oral presentations, drawing, graphing, charting, etc. Students then revise their explanations as they learn. This technique is particularly popular in science instruction. Discovery learning is a type of inquiry-based instruction which was developed primarily by the psychologist Jerome Bruner.

The inquiry-based instruction approach has been most widely used in science education, but it has also been used in a number of other subject matter areas including mathematics, engineering and even reading instruction.