Teacher Learning Community

Spring 2017 TLC: Developing Classrooms of Inquiry - Activity 1 Resources

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
    • Element D: Teachers establish and communicate high expectations and use processes to support the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Creating a Classroom Culture for Inquiry

Essential Question: How can teachers systematically utilize tools of inquiry to foster an environment where students engage in deep learning while making cross-disciplinary connections to the real world?

An inquiry classroom is driven by students’ questions and curiosity. In order to be successful, we need a classroom culture characterized by academic risk taking and learning from mistakes. In this activity, we will explore what this classroom climate looks like and how we can help students to get there. As you review the resources, consider what needs to be in place to create a successful inquiry-driven classroom.



"Corwin author Douglas Llewellyn describes how to develop a culture of inquiry and the importance of a student-centered class in inquiry science.

This blog gives 20 tips on how to create a culture in the classroom where students think about their learning and have a growth mindset.  

This article gives 8 tips on how to guide students "to their own learning path". 

This article explores creating a culture of inquiry in the classroom.  It gives ideas and strategies to help you set up your classroom from day one.  

Brought to you from Class Dojo, this website has ideas and activities to support students emotions.  

This video shares three meaningful ways teachers can model how mistakes are crucial for learning.  


This brief article provides examples of how teachers can take mistakes and turn them into positive learning opportunities.

Watch second-grade teacher Maricela Montoy-Wilson as she demonstrates how she has built a classroom culture that encourages and embraces productive struggle.  

This article reviews the research on inquiry-based and cooperative learning.

In these two blog posts, teacher Chase Mielke explores the reasons that our students learn to avoid academic risk-taking and what we might do about it.

In this video, teacher discuss the three guiding principles they use to develop a culture of respect in inquiry-based learning.

In this article, the author summarizes the lessons learned about the challenges and benefits of inquiry-based learning by the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-based school which has become a national model. 

In this brief video, inquiry expert Kath Murdoch shares her thoughts on what makes an inquiry-based classroom.

This video features a high school class and comments on student engagement and how it impacts classroom culture.