Inquiry paper writing tips

Hello all, I know several students have mentioned that they do not have a great deal of experience writing papers for coursework. While we have other methods for sharing our inquiry learning this semester (see the Inquiry Project page for more information), there are some useful guides online to support writing an inquiry paper. I found this one while doing a quick search. Have a look, you might find it of use. It contains a concise, clear description of ways to approach questioning and developing your inquiry through research.


Inquiry, Questions, Hands on Exploration

Inquiry II seminar Jan 20th

Thanks for having the energy this morning to share my excitement about using ‘Squishy Circuits’ as a. I strongly believe that hands-on, playful exploration and discovery can lead to deep learning and student engagement… selecting these activities with an eye to your students knowledge, skills and interests can also support personalized learning. As discussed, collecting some materials and having them ready in kits can also allow you to begin to build a genius hour or centers approach.


Some resources mentioned:

Also check out when you have time these Makerspace and Tinkering resources: Makey Makey ; Edutopia article on engagement and ‘making’ ; Tinkering Exploratorium

More on Sugata Mitra and SOLE (self-organized learning environments):

I’m glad also that so many of you found this week’s reading practical and of value. The PPT from today’s class can be found here and includes references. Jan20PPT

The TED talk we watched was from:

Ramsay Musallam: 3 rules to spark learning

Inquiry: Building our Definition and Purpose

Looking through the entrance and exit slips this week, I was impressed with the calibre of understandings and ideas individuals and the group in general are building. I’ve consolidated the comments here in a wordle with the source text (made up of the responses submitted Monday, Jan 6) below:

Inquiry Wordle

Our Questions:


  • I’m unclear on what the inquiry models are and how we can relate them to our questions.
  • I still have questions about the inquiry method for my project. Perhaps I just need to take some more time to read the website/paper about my method.
  • I have been struggling with this question for the past term. Perhaps it relates to the fact that I have been asking questions my whole life, so inquiry does not seem any different that my regular approach to life. Maybe other people don’t all think the same way I do.
  • My confusion stems from the differences between student inquiry and teacher inquiry – does it encompass both?
  • I’ll probably have more questions once I’ve looked at my returned proposal
  • What makes various inquiries more beneficial than others? Specifically, what attributes make a good inquiry?
  • How long does the final paper need to be?
  • Would the inquiry we do be shared on our website?
  • How do you explore the question, how do you plan with it and how do you mold it to create more inquiry?

What is Inquiry? Why Inquire?

Responses on Padlet – Sort and Classify!

  • Inquiry is to do research on a topic that is of interest to you.
  • To inquire is to learn about a topic and to think more deeply about issues or problems that we may see.
  • Inquiry pushes the person with questions to systematically explore and reflect on the research material.
  • We can look at what positively works in the classroom and why it does.
  • We inquire to make learning meaningful.
  • Inquiry is a process of asking questions that usually leads to more questions and a questioning process, seeking an answer we may not find.
  • Inquiry is a process of questioning your practice and continually working to improve upon it.
  • This process of inquiring is vital for teaching because it allows the individual to grow as a teacher and also allows for increased knowledge within other teachers in the field of education today.
  • Questioning allowing students to think about different things and also teachers looking for answers with questions which might not always come with an answer but more questions.
  • Allows you to look at things you’re interested in learning about, allows children to also help the teacher with what they want to learn about.
  • Inquiry is a process – asking questions and then looking for answers
  • As teachers, it is important to inquire as there are always new things that we can learn – learning does not stop when we become teachers, but rather it is continuous.
  • Through inquiry we can become better teachers by learning how certain aspects of a classroom function.
  • Inquiry is the process of investigating topics and imposing personal thoughts. Also, it is the process of learning through personal freedom.
  • It is important to inquire because the horizon of knowledge and learning broadens and as personalities people feel more developed.
  • When learning becomes personalized, it maximizes. A method of learning through asking questions.
  • It is useful for linking interests and student curiousity to learning. It also connects students’ background knowledge to new subject areas.
  • Often inquiry involves hands-on learning creating a deeper learning experience for students.
  • Inquiry is an in-depth look at a specific issue or subject and how it relates to our teaching practice.
  • We inquire because it provides an effective way to hone our teaching and improve the overall experience that students have in our classroom.
  • Inquiry is a process of understanding that revolves around formulating a question and through research, experiential learning and questioning one can begin to understand a way of answering the question.
  • I think it has something to do with when one is curious about something or wanting to learn more about and going about finding more information on that thing and being able to implement it.
  • It is more in-depth learning/researching.
  • Inquiry is more conducive to yourself; a more personal style of learning.
  • Inquiry allows you to take something of interest and take the steps to gain more information and further research it.
  • Inquiry is investigating and looking into different ways and methods that specifically in this context look towards improving the education system and our classrooms. Inquiry is important for teachers and students because it reinforces the idea that each of us needs to be life long learners.
  • It is important to always look for ways to better education practices.
  • Inquiry is like an evolving research question that we have.
  • It is a question that has the ability to adapt and change as we learn.
  • There are no concrete/single answers to an inquiry based question.
  • We inquire because we want to learn more about a certain topic and/or because we see a problem.
  • Inquiry for me is exploring multiple questions that I have in regards to teaching. It is a life-long process of learning and informing oneself.
  • I think it’s more than answering the questions we post, but also finding more questions while conducting an inquiry; Broadening our understanding of a subject or area.
  • The world is constantly evolving and adapting so as future educators, we need to mimic this process. Inquiry enables educators to continually grow and learn so that their students receive the best we can give them.
  • We should inquire as a way to stay motivated and relevant.
  • Asking takes us past the surface and allows for a peek into the underlying motivations, causes, and/or effects.
  • Inquiring about inquiry causes us to consider the purpose and validity of inquiry.


First Week Back

Tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to peer-review your inquiry proposal and also receive your marks and feedback from Inquiry I.

Here’s the tentative ‘shape’ of our day:

Quick Review: Why Inquire?


  • Review course outline and learning intentions
  • Discussion of consultation & class formats
  • The inquiry project paper and possibilities for presentation
  • Criteria for presentations/facilitated discussions
  • Discuss and set due dates for both portions of the Inquiry Project (oral and written)

Peer review of Inquiry proposal – edit, critique, suggest

  • finding commonalities, shared interests