About ESIP     Books & Beyond     Classroom Connections  
Site Map

Inquiry Is Asking Questions, Isn't It?

Inquiry begins with our own questions, which in turn form the basis for our further explorations and investigations. Inquiry involves using our curiosity and engagement in activities to actively construct knowledge.

Asking good questions, investigating them, developing and understanding the responses or results, and letting those results lead to the next set of questions is the essence of pure science.

Beyond developing an understanding of a general science principle (like the laws of motion), inquiry includes opportunities to explore multiple questions in response to a situation: Which scotch tape will do the job best? Which tape is the most economical? Are both the same product?

Children use the inquiry process from birth as a way to understand their world. An infant reaches for the brightly colored bauble until he learns how to aim his hands and grab. An infant 'tastes' the bauble until he learns that his hand can also 'know' the texture of the toy .


For articles about inquiry education in the classroom, visit the Exploratorium site at http://www.exploratorium.com/IFI/resources/inquirydesc.html.

All materials featured on this site are the property of the Elementary Science Integration Projects (ESIP) and/or their respective authors, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any form, printed or electronic, without express written permission.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.