Inquiry Myth #6 - Lacking Rigour and Not Challenging

In this series I aim to bust some common myths I often hear in my travels supporting teachers and schools in adopting an Inquiry Mindset for their students. My hope is that we can begin to inform colleagues, parents, and students as to what the reality of inquiry truly is. Please help this movement by sharing these with your PLN.

Here we go with Myth #6!

Inquiry Myth #6 - Inquiry lacks rigour and isn’t challenging for students


  • Inquiry can be extremely challenging for learners in that they take on more of the heavy lifting and responsibility of learning. Tasks that are traditionally teacher-led are now taken on by the learner as they become more of an active participant in the learning process.

  • Inquiry can lead to high expectations and goals that are personally set by learners. A natural experience in this process is that students set lofty targets that teachers support them in achieving, targets and processes that are differentiated for each individual learner.

  • Inquirers experience a level of personal relevance in the classroom that is inevitably quite meaningful for them. As such they are much more invested in exploring their inquiry, researching for new information, and achieving what was once, perhaps, believed to be unachievable.


In my experience learners are much more invested in the inquiry classroom. The role of the inquiry teacher shifts to helping students achieve personally set goals. These goals are differentiated for each student and the challenge of attaining their goal isn’t standardized or discovered on a multiple test. Their goals are incredibly rigorous and challenging in part due to the high relevance they discover in inquiry.