Curiosity-Driven, Inquiry-Based Science

How can we best support our students' learning, in fluctuating learning environments, through curiosity-driven, inquiry-based science education?

About the Project

Teachers’ Curiosity-Driven, Inquiry-Based Science Education Projects During COVID-19: A Community of Inquiry

Who: A community of passionate elementary, high school and university science teachers.

What: A cohort of 17 caring educators met on an ongoing basis to offer mutual support, collaboration, and reflection. Participants engaged in self-directed, collegial dialogue, to address implementing curiosity-driven and inquiry-based science education.

When: On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization made the assessment that COVID-19 was a pandemic. All face-to-face instruction in K-16 sectors immediately came to a halt, forcing teachers to transition to online methods. While many teachers and students struggled to maintain learning, notable exceptions persisted locally; we hoped to learn from those bright spots.  

Starting September 2020, our Community of Inquiry commenced to rethink pedagogical approaches, and better engage learners in curiosity-driven, inquiry-based learning in a fluctuating learning environment (online, face-to-face, hybrid). Our collaboration continued through June 2021.

Why: A Community of Inquiry offers a three-pronged framework to scaffold an educational experience, for teachers and educators alike. The three prongs are: 

  • Cognitive Presence: which refines the content / learning focus
  • Social Presence: which supports collegial discourse and sound working relationships 
  • Teaching Presence: establishing the climate of encouraging collaboration 

Examples: Teachers and University Instructors in our Community of Inquiry created inquiry-based learning opportunities for their students. You can view these through the blog post link below.

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