The definition of inquiry is to seek truth, knowledge or information through questioning; we do this even before we learn to speak, and we continue seeking and questioning throughout our entire lives. The inquiry-based classroom’s foundation of learning is to use this natural process of questioning to teach through involvement.
STEM focuses on problem-solving by asking questions
Advancements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have always been made possible because someone questioned the current understanding of how or why something was the way it was. As a teacher, you are one of many resources your students have from which to acquire knowledge, but it’s also your responsibility to guide them in how to curate knowledge carefully from a variety of sources.
STEM educators train students to become proficient in their content curating and teach them how to apply that content in new and interesting ways. That skill is no longer limited to STEM learning disciplines–you can create an inquiry classroom to open doors for students of various educational backgrounds.
Teachers’ involvement in the STEM classes
Involvement is fundamental for true understanding no matter what the class or subject. If your students are asking questions, then you have their attention; you can tell them the answers and hope they’ll remember, but if you get them to participate in an activity that teaches the answers, then they tend to use critical thinking to make the connection required both to understand and retain the information.
How to Create an Inquiry Classroom in STEM Lessons
Using inquiry effectively is more than just posing questions. This professional development online course was designed to help educators in all disciplines understand how to design their classrooms for inquiry and why it has value. Questions need context, framework and focus; when implemented properly the knowledge gained from these questions has the potential to be applied across a broad spectrum.
While it’s impossible for one person to know everything, it is completely possible to teach them how to ask the right questions to learn anything. Start with asking how much more effective your teachers would be with these skills in their professional development portfolios.