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Inquiry: a definition
Inquiry is a model for exploring the world. It is a process where learners engage with a topic through initial observation or wonder – this propels them to ask questions about their surroundings. Once they have a discrete question, they make a plan, carry out investigations, and reflect on what they learned.
Steps in the Inquiry Process:
Spark interest and curiosity in a subject. Wonder about the natural world or some observed phenomena.
Question what happens when I…? How are x and y different? Then create a plan for investigating a question that emerged from the spark.
Investigate a question; make observations; take note as new questions arise.
Reflect on the information gathered; communicate it to others.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants DRL-0813455 and DRL-0813464. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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