Inquiry: A Metaphor for Life


These are the four pillars of inquiry. These pillars define how we best learn, teach, perform research, and practice faith traditions. In short, we are always learning and inquiry is a metaphor for life, which means our schools, universities, workplaces, and houses of worship should work actively to develop learners' capacities to better inquire. Sadly, all too often they do not.

Definition of Inquiry?

A more precise definition of inquiry that represents the need of a variety of subject areas was developed by the Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry (1996): “Inquiry is an approach to learning that involves a process of exploring the natural or material world, that leads to asking questions and making discoveries in the search for new understandings.”

How do we do Inquiry?

This is the bazillion dollar question. Inquiry can look, smell, taste, and feel different depending upon a variety of things: the topic under consideration, the learner's needs, and a host of other factors. Many scaffolds have been developed to help us be effective inquirers, but we must remember that, by definition, scaffolding is supposed to be removed over time.

The majority of my professional and personal efforts over the years have focused on empowering teachers and students to be effective inquiry learners. This site provides a glimpse into my life of inquiry.