The art of inquiry starts from a belief that the world is a fascinating place. Units of study in all subject areas begin with an essential question that frames the topic and promotes deep critical thinking. IBL is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. Students are taught to explore, examine, and ask big questions.
We recognize that each student has his or her own unique methods of learning and varying levels of skill and curiosity. This is why inquiry-based learning, an approach that allows students to delve deeply into course material and merge it with their own interests, is the center of our education process. Through IBL, students connect new knowledge with what they already know. They develop higher-order thinking skills—the ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize—that are crucial for success in college and beyond.
Students experience deeper learning with IBL as they are motivated to work outside of class to discover the information for themselves and to be prepared for the group work. Research has demonstrated that the learning gains form IBL were statistically significantly correlated to the fraction of time spent on student centered activities and anti-correlated to the faction of time listening to instructors talk.