Because life happens on the yard and in the classroom™
Because life happens on the yard and in the classroom™

What is Inquiry-Based Learning (IBP)?

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Changing learning from Teacher-guided to Student-Driven

There is a famous saying, “Tell me and I forget, show me and I may remember, INVOLVE me and I will UNDERSTAND.”  The last section of this saying is the core of Inquiry-based learning.  IBP is a form of learning that allows students to be critical thinkers. Essentially, this form of learning begins with a question, unlike traditional learning, where teachers provide all the information to students and ask questions later. Teachers in IBL start their lessons with an idea and where they want it to end but allow students to drive it.  

“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge!”- Thomas Berger.

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?

IBL is a topic-based learning approach that values students’ interests, knowledge, and experiences throughout their learning process. It is tailored towards meeting the students’ needs and helping them develop critical thinking skills.  This method of learning promotes curiosity, experimentation, and engagement. Students are empowered to explore learning through asking questions and creating or finding solutions. Unlike traditional learning that comprises strict guidelines, IBL uses a more general and philosophical approach.

Types of Inquiry-Based Learning

There are four levels of inquiry-based learning, namely: Confirmation, structured,  guided, and lastly, open inquiry. All these learning methods are student-led and are applicable in all subjects in all grade levels.

  • Confirmation Inquiry:

Confirmation inquiry is the most common and easiest level to do.  At this level, teachers develop questions and procedures that guide students through an activity that has known answers. This method builds students’ critical thinking and investigation skills as they learn how different strategies work.

  • Structured Inquiry

In structured inquiry, teachers present an open question to a student through a prescribed procedure that has step-to-step guidelines in every step. The students must follow the set procedure before crafting an evidence-based answer.

  • Guided Inquiry

Guided inquiry is a form of IBL where teachers provide investigation methods to guide students through their inquiries to conclude. Under this level, teachers let students control their learning through investigations, asking questions, conducting research, distilling information, and critical thinking.

  • Open Inquiry

Open inquiry is a student-centered approach that starts with a student asking a question, followed by the student conducting an experiment or investigation before communicating results. Students are given the freedom to choose methods of inquiry.

Research has found that inquiry-based activities can boost students’ learning in a wide range of school subjects.

Effectiveness of Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning is an effective form of learning since it motivates students to learn and advance their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. With this student-based learning, students don’t just listen to teachers and write down notes; they also research and explore the topic deeper and have first-hand experiences with the subject of discussion. Notably, the learning method allows students to recall what they learned and learn how to better understand content through active engagement and application of different connections.

Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning

  • Improves Children’s Experience in Class.

Sitting in a classroom for hours, listening to teachers, and taking notes is not an exciting learning method. IBL saves students the trouble of memorizing facts by letting them explore and lead learning.

  • Empowers Students with Learning Skills

IBL develops students’ communication and critical thinking skills. These skills not only improve their comprehension in class but also their experiences in daily activities.

  • Stirs Students’ Curiosity

IBL lets students contribute significantly to a topic by asking questions and sharing ideas. This grows their curiosity about different issues and improves their performances.

  • Improves their Understanding of Learning

Inquiry-based learning improves students’ connectedness to education.  This allows them to gain more understanding of topics than they would in a traditional class setting.


  • Students get Ownership over their Studies.

Students don’t rely wholly on teachers to give instructions; they are allowed to explore topics.  This makes them be critical thinkers as they get the opportunity to learn in a way that fits them best.

  • Develops a Love for Learning

Inquiry-based learning improves students’ love for learning. They develop a passion for learning and exploration since they are offered a chance to engage with learning material.


At Kids on the Yard, we support the engaging form of learning. We apply Whole Child learning and an innovative approach to support 21st-Century children and families.  Visit our website for more insights and information about inquiry-based learning, among other information.

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