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?

Digital Driver’s License – Making Inquiry Possible

The Digital Driver’s License ( is a free online platform that enables teachers and students to earn badges or licenses for various topics. As part of the MIP work, professional learning modules were created within the DDL to help districts and schools use the films in their professional learning efforts. If you would like to access these materials for your district, just send an email to to get your district, school, or PLC added to the system and the MIP license activated.

Want to get started with inquiry?

A great place to get oriented to inquiry is to explore the College, Career, and Civil Life (C3) Framework, adopted by the National Council for the Social Studies in 2013. The C3 Framework features four dimensions that form an Inquiry Arc, laying out a process for students to ask questions about the social world, use disciplinary concepts and tools from social studies, analyze and argue about what they learned, and apply that knowledge to the real world challenges of today.

Inquiry-based teaching offers students the opportunity to engage with the social worlds around them in rich and meaningful ways. The foundations of an inquiry-based approach are questions, tasks, and sources.

Get started with an excerpt from the book, Inquiry Based Practice in Social Studies Education: Understanding the Inquiry Design Model written by the executive producers of the MIP project. Download chapter one here or check out some of the IDM resources free on C3 Teachers.

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