International Baccalaureate » Inquiry


 Inquiry and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme
Inquiry is the primary teaching methodology of the IB Primary Years Program. An inquiry-based approach enables learners to "draw forth" and to become inquirers and lifelong learners. Questions are at the heart of the inquiry process. Inquiry comes from exploring and being interested in the world. In an inquiry classroom, curriculum is integrated and children are encouraged and given opportunities to question, explore, practice, manipulate, respond, and be engaged in learning. Inquiry classrooms are often lively and loud. Students are engaged in conversations, research, and projects. They are often collaborating to produce an end product that shows their understanding.
An important element of learning is connecting to and building from one’s life experiences. This connection is essential to learning. Allowing students to explore, make their own connections, and giving time to share their connections and hear each other’s voices is fundamental. The main goals, in any classroom, are to help students learn and to meet the needs of each student.
Use of the inquiry process and inquiry teaching philosophy enables the student and the teacher to explore, develop meaning, and to become active constructors of their own knowledge (i.e., their own schemas) through experiences that encourage assimilation and accommodation. At King-Murphy, teachers are using Thinking Routines from Project Zero at Harvard University to engage students in digging deeper into their thinking, questioning, and learning allowing for inquiry to become front and center in the classroom. Teachers are also implementing forms of Genius Hour to allow students independent inquiry on a passion of their choice. The use of Kath Murdoch’s inquiry cycle has given teachers a framework to guide students through the inquiry process.
What does inquiry look like?
  • Exploring, wondering and questioning
  • Experimenting and playing with possibilities
  • Making connections between previous learning and current learning
  • Making predications and acting purposefully to see what happens
  • Collecting data and reporting findings
  • Clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
  • Deepening understanding through the application of a concept
  • Making and testing theories
  • Researching and seeking information
  • Taking and defending a position
  • Solving problems in a variety of ways
Click here to learn more about Visible Thinking from Project Zero-
Click here to learn more about inquiry from John Burrell-
Click here to learn more about inquiry from Kath Murdoch