What is inquiry-based learning?
Inquiry-based learning is a learning or teaching technique wherein a question or a problem is given at the start to stimulate the learning process. Instead of providing the students or learners with facts at the beginning, they are given a problem to solve or question to answer. Once the problem is presented, the learners will then try to investigate and research on the possible clues and actual solution or answer. This type of learning may be applied to students on an individual basis or to learning groups wherein the members can share ideas or clues that they have discovered to come up with the answer. The answer to the problem will then be discussed again or shared to the other learners and students.
Proponents of inquiry-based learning emphasize the good points of this method including the high engagement level of learners and students. Whether the problem is solved individually or in groups, the students will be highly engaged in acquiring knowledge and clues as the problem is being thought about and investigated. With the problem introduced in the beginning, students will basically be stimulated to think of possible answers and clues. In this way, the learning experience itself is enriched by way of entertaining different scenarios or possible solutions to a particular problem. Through inquiry-based learning, the students and learners will also formulate their own questions and theories based on the initial problem. Investigation will also lead the students into answering their own questions and proving their own theories with what they acquire or experience. Through the investigative process, the learners will also learn better in terms of being able to support their theories with actual evidence and proof. In this way, the problem at the beginning will not be only given a solution and answer but the learners themselves will also be able to defend them with arguments and justifications because they have discovered these themselves.