And the Theory is …


After reading Pamela’s blog discussing Inquiry?? Which way to go … at  I too found it tricky to home in on a particular teaching and learning model/theory. The problem being that there seems to be an ever-increasing choice of models to follow – a case of the more you looked, the more you found! Each had its obvious advantages – although when you really looked into what and how you wanted to teach to a specific age group, it was easier to be more selective and find the find the ‘right fit’.

I found the link to Jeni Wilson and Kath Murdoch’s “What is Inquiry Learning?” most comprehensive. Influenced by Bruner’s Theory of Constructivism (1986) and the advantages of active learning, Wilson & Murdoch presented a useful table (which I have summarised below) of how Inquiry Learning can be implemented in today’s classroom. The main components of effective Inquiry Learning can be seen in two ways:

  • Problem/Question
  • Tuning in
  • Hypothesis
  • Finding out
  •  Data collection and analysis
  • Sorting out
  •  Drawing conclusions
  • Going further
  •  Making generalisations & reflecting
  • Reflection
  • Authentic action
  • Action

Applying this model can lead to engaged independent learners who are more likely to make decisions, co-operate with others and be more in control of their pace and learning path.

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