I’m included in Larry Ferlazzo’s most recent, and always wonderful, Classroom Q&A. This week’s question: What are the differences between Project-Based, Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning? My response, in part:
The key question teachers should ask themselves about inquiry is who is actually doing the inquiry work. Early in my career, I thought I was doing inquiry-based learning, but really, I was the one doing inquiry, not my students. I had what I thought was a great unit on US Foreign Policy based on the question, “Why are we at War in Afghanistan?” which traced the development of US interventions from the Spanish American War to today. But I was the one doing all the work. Students learned lots of facts about various US interventions, but I was the one connecting everything. For explanatory questions such as the one I asked, it’s only inquiry learning if the students are the ones doing the connective work. It’s also essential that the answers to the questions need to be evidenced-based.
Read the whole piece here (free registration required).