What is Inquiry-based Learning?
We learn best when we are at the center of our own learning. Inquiry-based learning is a learning process through questions generated from the interests, curiosities, and perspectives/experiences of the learner. When investigations grow from our own questions, curiosities, and experiences, learning is an organic and motivating process that is intrinsically enjoyable. This trajectory depicts my theory that expands the inquiry-based learning model: If the question, investigation, and outcome(s) are truly meaningful to the learner, she or he will apply this newly-acquired knowledge in her or his own life by sharing knowledge and by taking concrete action in the world. My theory is informed by my own personal learning experiences and by my experiences in both formal and informal learning communities. I believe that it is this process that moves people out of inertia to take steps that create social change, or to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge and discovery. Paula