Inquiry and a Critical View of Science

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 36

Contact Hours: 15

Assessment Hours: 24


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module is designed to empower prospective science educators to create engaging and dynamic learning experiences for students through the effective use of inquiry-based instruction.

Inquiry-based teaching is a powerful approach that encourages students to actively explore scientific concepts, ask questions, and develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. It places students at the centre of the learning process, transforming them from passive receivers of knowledge to active participants in constructing their understanding of the world around them.

Throughout this module, the key principles and strategies of inquiry-based science teaching will be covered, thus, exploring how to effectively implement this approach in the classroom. The benefits of inquiry-based learning and different types of inquiry will be discussed. Practical examples and resources will be provided to support implementation of inquiry in science lessons.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Plan and design Inquiry-Based Lessons effectively;

b. Align learning objectives with learning outcomes, select appropriate inquiry approaches, develop guiding questions, design investigations, and sequence activities to scaffold students’ learning;

c. Create a supportive classroom environment that encourages student engagement, curiosity, collaboration, and independent thinking;

d. Guide students through different stages of inquiry, such as formulating hypotheses, conducting experiments, analysing data, and drawing conclusions;

e. Promote learner engagement and collaboration within an inquiry-based learning environment;

f. Utilize various instructional methods, including cooperative learning, group discussions, and peer-to-peer interactions, to encourage active participation and shared learning experiences among learners;

g. Develop assessment strategies specifically tailored to evaluate learners’ progress in inquiry-based learning;

h. Design rubrics, authentic assessments, and performance-based tasks to assess both content knowledge and inquiry skills;

i. Provide constructive feedback and promoting student self-reflection.


a. Understand the principles, theories, and research behind inquiry-based learning;

b. Comprehend the rationale for using inquiry in science education;

c. Recognize the potential of inquiry based learning for promoting student engagement, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills;

d. Explore educational theories, such as constructivism and socio-cultural perspectives, which underpin the rationale for inquiry-based instruction;

e. Discuss empirical studies highlighting the benefits of inquiry in promoting student learning outcomes;

f. Distinguish between various models and frameworks for inquiry-based learning, such as the 5E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate), the scientific inquiry model, or the inquiry cycle;

g. Understand the stages and components of these models and how they can be applied to design effective inquiry-based lessons;

h. Describe the different types of inquiry and their characteristics and explaine how to utilize each approach based on the learning objectives, students’ prior knowledge, and the complexity of the scientific concepts being explored;

i. Understand different techniques for guiding and scaffolding students’ inquiry process, such as promoting effective communication, facilitating collaborative problem-solving, and providing opportunities for reflection;

j. Deepen their understanding of scientific practices and how they can be integrated into inquiry-based instruction;

k. Acquire knowledge of assessment strategies tailored to evaluate students’ progress in inquiry-based learning.


a. Design inquiry-based lessons that align with curriculum objectives and engage learners in the process of scientific inquiry;

b. Develop clear learning objectives, design investigations, craft open-ended questions, and sequence activities to support students’ exploration and understanding;

c. Guide students through the different stages of inquiry and provide appropriate guidance and support;

d. Promote scientific thinking and practices within the inquiry-based learning environment.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Assignment; Presentation.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Bishop-Clark, C., & Dietz-Uhler, B. (2023).”Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Guide to the Process, and How to Develop a Project from Start to Finish”
  2. “Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: (2000) A Guide for Teaching and Learning” National Research Council.
  3. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S.L., (2009)”Inquiry as Stance: Practitioner Research in the Next Generation”
  4. Murdock, K. (2015)”The Power of Inquiry: Teaching and Learning with Curiosity, Creativity, and Purpose in the Contemporary Classroom”.
Supplementary Reading List:
  1. “Developing Inquiry-Based Science Materials: A Guide for Educators” (2001) National Research Council.
  2. Contant, T.L., & Bass J.L. ( 2017)” Teaching Science Through Inquiry-Based Instruction”
  3. Hassard, J. (2009)”The Art of Teaching Science: Inquiry and Innovation in Middle School and High School”.
Skip to content