Concept of Inquiry Method

A.      Concept of Inquiry Method

1.        Definition of Inquiry Method

A method of inquiry is capable of methods followed learners to realize what has been gained during learn. Inquiry put learners as subjects to active (Mulyasa, 2003: 234).

Garcia (2003:2). Inquiry-based instruction is instruction using hands-on activities that allow children to explore scientific concepts, as well as instruction in which the focus is on using process skills to gain deeper understandings of the connections in science.

Inquiry is the dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlements and coming to know and understand the world” (Galileo Educational Network in Alberta 2004)

Bruce and Davidson (1996:9) The Inquiry Model  assumes that knowledge is constructed through meaningful activity which may include, but is not limited to, conventional literacy activities.

Inquiry as a teaching method was invented by social studies teachers. Students were given data from different countries, and asked to analyze the data to make generalizations and predictions about the people of the countries. Inquiry is a term used broadly to refer to everything from pseudo-experiments where the teacher has the students reify already taught concepts to one in which students have virtually total control.

2.        Step of Inquiry Method

According to Hollywood Academy of Art And Science (2006:3) defines the steps of inquiry lessons are:

a)      Purpose         

The teacher tells the students what they will be learning about and tells them of the interesting implications of the lesson.

b)     Hypothesis

In those activities where there will be a hypothesis, the students should always be expected to make their own hypotheses. This should be done in small groups (pairs), then in whole class discussion. Students should state their hypotheses in terms of the effect of one variable on another, and you must encourage them to justify their hypotheses.

c)      Procedure

Once students have a clear idea of the purpose of the experiment or study, they should have some idea of how to find the answer. Often, the discussion of different hypotheses will give those ideas for how to test their own hypothesis. Just because they have shown that their hypothesis might be true does not mean they have proved it! The alternative might still be a possibility. They have to rule on the other hypothesis as well as showing that their hypothesis works

d)     Materials

 Once students know what they plan to do, they can make a list of the materials they will need. Sometimes it helps to tell them what materials are available before they design their procedure (one small way you can retain control) However, often the materials they need can be brought from home. If students are testing different kinds of food for starch and fat, you would encourage them to bring some from home.


e)      Data

Before students begin the experiment, remind them of all safety precautions. If they are working with chemicals, they should be wearing safety glasses. If they are working with Bunsen burners, they should have their hair tied back. Etc. Then they are to carry out their experiment. Since they designed the procedure, they should know what data to collect. They should have a plan to record their data.


f)       Analysis

Students should know what they are trying to find. They might need assistance in steering away from their affirmation bias, however. The students need to be reminded that they should start with more than one of each bean plant, just in case one of them is a dud. And, it might turn out that vinegar is good for germination of bean seeds. 

g)      Conclusion

When your students have finished their study or experiment, they must discuss their results with one another. They must find out who had the same results, which had different results, why the results might have been different. They must interpret the results according to their original question. What do the results mean? The results will almost certainly lead to another question, and the process begins again.

Notice that the class discussion of the conclusion is the brief of the lesson. This is when the meaning of the lesson can be put into the context of the unit as a whole. A big advantage of inquiry where students have most of the control over the activity is that students of different cultural backgrounds have different principles of inquiry


3.        The Procedure of Inquiry Method

Alberta (2004:11) Inquiry-based learning is a process where students are involved in their learning, formulate questions, investigate widely and then build new understandings, meanings and knowledge.  That knowledge is new to the students and may be used to answer a question, to develop a solution or to support a position or point of view.  The knowledge is usually presented to others and may result in some sort of action.

Center for Inspired Teaching (2008:1) inquiry-based  teaching  is  a  pedagogical  approach  that  invites  students  to  explore academic content by posing, investigating, and answering questions. Also known as problem-based  teaching  or  simply  as  ‘inquiry,’  this  approach  puts  students’ questions  at  the  center  of  the  curriculum,  and  places  just  as  much  value  on  the component skills of research as it does on knowledge and understanding of content

Miller. (2006: 30) Inquiry  is  a  multifaceted  activity  that  involves  making observations; posing questions; examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known; plan-ning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and predic-tions; and communicating the results. Inquiry requires iden-tifi cation of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations

Alberta (2004:13) defines Inquiry-based learning provides opportunities for students as follows: 

a)      Develop skills they will need all their lives

b)      Learn to scope with problems that may not have clear solutions

c)      Deel with changes and challenges to understandings

d)     Shope their search for solutions, now and in the future.


A systematic approach to the development of these skills is essential to prepare students for problem solving and lifelong learning.  A systematic approach ensures that students have the opportunity to engage in inquiry, to learn an overall process and to understand that this general inquiry process can be transferred to other inquiry situations

The Great Books Foundation (2007: 1) state the procedure of inquiry method in:

a)      Focus on the content of a text and attain thorough  understanding

b)      Read actively, ask questions, retain knowledge, and take initiative for learning

c)      Resolve confusion and answer questions themselves

d)     Use new strategies independently to get the most out


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