What makes inquiry possible?

Explore the why, what, who, and how of inquiry-based instruction through a series of documentary films that feature teachers working together
to make inquiry possible.

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Why Inquiry?

In two short introductory films, we lay the groundwork for inquiry-based instruction in social studies classrooms and outline the origins of the Making Inquiry Possible (MIP) project, preview the films that are featured on this site, and orient the viewer to the professional learning resources available to support educators in making inquiry possible in their own classrooms and districts.

In Part 1, Dr. Kathy Swan tackles the foundational question: Why inquiry? In Part 2, Dr. Kathy Swan answers the project question:  What is the Making Inquiry Possible project?

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What Makes Inquiry Possible?

Teaching with inquiry is not a solo endeavor–it requires collaborative efforts of teachers, students, colleagues, and administrators. In this film, we look at one innovative high school in Woodford County, Kentucky that is shifting to inquiry-based instruction. Social studies educators featured in this film show us how inquiry requires a common language of inquiry, trust between teachers and students, and collaboration. In doing so, they help us understand what makes inquiry possible.

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What Does Inquiry Look Like?

For teachers interested in implementing inquiry in their classrooms, it can help to see what inquiry looks like in action! In this film, we feature two teachers implementing the same inquiry, Can the Civics Test Make You a Better Citizen? The teachers lead students through an investigation of a state-mandated civics test, a current graduation requirement for Kentucky students, in order to evaluate the ways in which the test addresses needed knowledge and skills to prepare students for active engagement in civic life. See inquiry come alive as teachers take us through the instructional steps of implementing an inquiry.

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How Do You Build An Inquiry Culture?

Teaching with inquiry means honoring a teacher’s expertise and individual craft while at the same time understanding that changing practice requires a collective effort. As teachers shift their instructional approaches to inquiry, they need support from colleagues and administrators. In this film, we feature one urban Kentucky district tackling inquiry by creating an inquiry culture that fits their unique context. The film, How Do You Build An Inquiry Culture?, is intended to be a mirror for educators who want to strengthen collaborative conversations when growing inquiry in schools.

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Who Made This?

The Making Inquiry Possible Project (MIP) is a professional learning initiative undertaken by C3 Teachers with support from the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. The MIP project features a series of documentary films and professional learning materials designed to assist educators in implementing inquiry and to facilitate discussions about the triumphs and challenges that teachers, students, and districts experience as they put inquiry-based standards into practice.

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For more information on the
Making Inquiry Possible Project, please contact us.