Faculty Publications

Integrating inquiry in social studies classrooms

Carolyn A. Weber, University of Northern Iowa
Heather N. Hagan, Coastal Carolina University


This practical guide shows how and why in-service and pre-service teachers should use inquiry in their social studies lessons to develop students' critical thinking and decision-making skills. Supported by literature and research, it provides a concrete framework for integrating inquiry in the classroom, which outlines the pedagogical practice of inquiry and provides evidence for its benefits for teaching and learning. Filled with practical advice and lesson plans for classroom use, chapters explore topics such as the following: Defining inquiry and highlighting its importance in the classroom An overview of the inquiry framework and the role of pedagogical content knowledge The literature and research about inquiry, including alternate framework structures and the different types of inquiry and Planning and scaffolding inquiry-based learning The volume also explores perennial and emerging uses for inquiry in social studies, including technology, integrating literature, utilizing civic agency, using primary sources, evaluating sources, and focusing on global issues. This is an essential read for any pre-service or in-service teacher who wants to support their students in developing inquiry skills.