Developing independent inquiry skills

Develop secondary students' problem-solving and critical thinking skills through inqury-based learning in the classroom

Alex Doyle

Secondary, Inquiry Teaching, Inquiry Learning, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Question, Discussion, Australia, New Zealand

Support secondary students as they get to grips with classroom-based inquiry through problem solving and critical thinking

At its most basic level, being able to see, hear, taste, touch and smell shows that curiosity is a natural part of everyday life. But, as modern society becomes more technologically oriented, there is a growing need to develop natural curiosity into thoughtful investigation, so that students are able to solve problems and think critically in their working lives.

One way to foster this is through inquiry teaching.  This method allows students to drive their learning through their own questions and interests. In doing so, they begin understand that there is no one place to find answers and that communication and discussion are key to being able to extend their thinking.

With such obvious benefits, why not give it a go in your classroom? To help you get started, we've brought together a selection of our favourite inquiry-led lesson ideas and activities from Tes.

Kicking off investigation

Introduce and explain the inquiry model to your students with this step-by-step presentation*, covering each stage in detail. But how does this translate into the classroom?

If you're looking to encourage inquiry in science, these structured investigation posters* offer an excellent starting point. Meanwhile, in the mathematics classroom, promote learning through problem solving with this handy writing frame*.

Designing enquiry questions

Use elements of this comprehensive Bloom buster lesson to demonstrate how to construct top-quality questions to your class, before encouraging them to creative their own with help from these question stems. These academic discussion cards* support the verbal exploration of these questions in pairs, small groups or as a whole class. 

Quick links

Starting the investigation Designing questions
Introductory presentation* Bloom buster lesson
Investigation posters* Question stem sheet
Problem-solving frame* Academic discussion cards*

*This resource is being sold by its author

This blog post is featured in April's secondary newsletter from Tes Resources.

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