Inquiry is the primary focus of Ohio's Revised Science Standards. According to The Ohio Revised Academic Content Standards and Model Curriculum for Science Education, all students should know and be able to independently engage in scientific inquiry in order to "become scientifically literate citizens equipped with knowledge and skills for the 21st century workforce and higher education."

The IBL Institute offers professional development one or two-day workshops conducted by our facilitators in your school district or at one of our regularly scheduled programs held at park districts.

The goal of our programs are:

  • To provide a thorough understanding of what Inquiry-Based Learning is
  • To show how IBL can be another tool in the teaching arsenal
  • To make teachers more aware of their learning and teaching processes
  • To give teachers a way to realistically apply IBL in their classrooms
  • To show how inquiry can be gradually incorporated into the curriculum
  • To illuminate the benefits of IBL for teachers and students
  • To give teachers the knowledge and confidence to use IBL in their classrooms


A typical workshop contains the following segments:

“Not All Hands-on Learning is IBL” – Activities we complete in this section are meant to put you in the inquiry mindset. Hands-on science exists along a continuum of inquiry learning with Teacher-Directed Learning being at one end of the continuum and Student-Directed Learning at the other. This section will illuminate the differences among different levels of inquiry along the continuum.

“Processing the Process Skills of Science” – Process skills are the abilities needed to generate and test new ideas, build knowledge, and learn science concepts. This portion of the workshop will give participants the opportunity to think about process skills, differentiate between them, see what they look like in action, and identify different skill levels.

“So Many Questions” – In this section we focus on the process skills of questioning. Curiosity is at the heart of inquiry-based learning and questions are indicators of curiosity. During this portion of the workshop we will give you insight into your own questioning mechanisms, and as a result, help you maximize investigable questions in the classroom.

“The Inquiry Experience” – In this segment you will experience the inquiry process. We will use the INQUIRE Method to illustrate that inquiry has a definite structure that makes use of creativity. You will participate in an open inquiry that you’ve designed along with follow participants.

“Taking IBL from Concept to Classroom” – The purpose of this section of the workshop is to help you fit IBL into your lesson plans. During this section you’ll be transitioning from participant to facilitator in your classroom. We will show you how IBL relates to National Science Education Standards and the Common Core Curriculum, as well as, how to make subtle shifts in activities to give learners more exposure to IBL.