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Barry Kluger-Bell, PhD

Inquiry Science Educator

"A central driving force for human beings is the desire to grapple

with an intellectual challenge and solve it for themselves."

Barry Kluger-Bell

Inquiry and Learning

The following reflects my educational beliefs.

Inquiry is a powerful method for learning about the world.

And curiosity is at the heart of inquiry.

Why is the sky blue? How can birds find their way when they migrate? What makes rivers meander? Questions like these (voiced or acted out) define the cutting edge of an individual’s quest to understand the world.

Inquiry learning involves linking previous experience to a new experience in an attempt to make sense of the new; to make meaning by seeking answers to the learner’s questions.

The process begins when the learner notices something that intrigues, surprises or does not fit with their expectations. What is happening? This is odd!

The learner continues to observe the phenomenon, raising more questions, and generating and testing hypotheses.

Each learner finds their own unique pathway to investigate the phenomena.

They may collect and record data, make representations of results and explanations, and draw upon other resources such as books, videos, and the expertise or insights of others as part of their quest for understanding.

Learning from inquiry requires reflection, conversation, comparison of findings with others, interpretation of data and observations, and the application of new concepts to other contexts.

But it also requires the development of the process skills of scientific inquiry such as controlling variables, careful observations, and drawing logical inferences in order to yield valid conclusions.

For more of my publications on inquiry and learning see:

"Pathways to Learning" A description of the Institute for Inquiry structure for classroom inquiry

" Cultivating Scientist- and Engineer-Educators: The CfAO Professional Development Program" A description of the ISEE/CfAO Professional Development Program, a program that taught inquiry-based teaching to science and engineering graduate student.