Inquiry Myth #3 - Without Limits or Parameters

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 #3!

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Inquiry Myth #3 - Inquiry takes little to no planning and is without parameters


  • Inquiry teachers know their curriculum. They still lesson plan, and they know what skills their students will need to progress in their classroom and beyond. Inquiry lessons actually require careful planning to measure student progress.

  • Inquiry teachers know their students. They have to assess abilities, interests and special needs to know what kind of inquiry will best suit a class, a lesson, and an individual.

  • Inquiry teachers know their standards and expectations. They carefully align the inquiry process with assessments and standards to meet the expectations of their school and district.

One of the talents of the inquiry teacher is their ability to provide voice and choice while simultaneously teaching to their curriculum and mandated learning objectives. They accomplish this by framing lessons and units of study with access points for all learners. These access points are more than differentiating learning. These access points connect to each students’ wonder and curiosity and provide a start point into learning that is highly relevant. It’s in this relevance that inquiry thrives.

How do you strike a balance between student wonder and your curriculum?