A student-centred approach is a key feature of inquiry-based learning. Using an inquiry approach, students learn how to learn. They can often transfer or apply the essential inquiry learning skills, dispositions, and attitudes to new situations.
Metacognitive processes can be an important part of inquiry learning. This might include strategies for developing students' thinking skills and understanding how they learn. Inquiry learning includes reflecting on the learning process and new knowledge gained. This sometimes leads to further questions and a new inquiry.
Inquiry learning helps students develop information skills, such as reading, finding, evaluating, using, creating, and sharing information.
Learner agency and engagement
When students can bring their natural curiosity to an inquiry and are able to make decisions about their own learning, they can be more engaged, motivated, and confident. They can also gain a deeper understanding.
Inquiry learning helps students develop their ability to:
- ask meaningful questions
- think critically (including analysing and evaluating information)
- form opinions or theories
- solve problems.
Inquiry learning encourages students to work collaboratively and cooperatively alongside other students, teachers, and the wider community.
Students develop their ability to communicate effectively about their inquiry findings. This might include taking action as a result of their new knowledge or understanding.