inquirED Blog 

Research, resources, and reflections on inquiry-based teaching and learning.

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Inquiry in the Social Studies

Updated: Jun 11


The Demand for Inquiry-Based Learning


Over the last 5 years, there has been an increased demand for inquiry-based curriculum and instruction from parents, business and state education leaders, and school administrators.


In a 2014 NACE survey of 600 businesses, more than 90% of respondents identified the inquiry-based skills of creative problem solving and collaboration as the most sought after skills in applicants. Likewise, a P21 study showed that a near-unanimous 99% of the 800 voters polled agreed that the types of skills developed in inquiry-based learning are crucial for our country’s economic success. In a 2017 Gallup survey of over 2000 school administrators, 78% responded that inquiry-based learning was very important to student success after graduation.


Webinar Summary

Thanks to our panelists: Dr. John Lee and Elisabeth Ventling Simon.


John is Head and Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. He was an author of the College, Career and Civic Life Framework for Standards in Social Studies and is a founder and co-director of the C3 Teachers project. He develops innovative digital historical resources through the Digital History and Pedagogy Project. (jklee@ncsu.edu)


Elisabeth is the Vice President of Learning Experiences at inquirED. After almost 20 years working as a public school educator and instructional coach, Elisabeth has led inquirED’s Learning Experience Team in the creation of Inquiry Journeys - a comprehensive K-6 inquiry-based social studies curriculum. (elisabeth@inquired.org)


During the webinar, we explored the compelling question: How can we deepen our practice of inquiry? We explored the following supporting questions in the webinar:

  • What is inquiry?

  • Why does inquiry matter?

  • How do I implement inquiry?

John and Elisabeth mentioned several resources that can help you to develop your understanding of inquiry and facilitate a shift in practice. We wanted to share those with you!


Inquiry-Based Resources


Conferences on Inquiry Teaching

Resources for Evaluating Inquiry-Based Instructional Materials


If you were unable to attend the webinar or would like to rewatch any portion of it, we have included a recording below.