Twenty years ago, as the new principal of an international school in Athens, Greece, Kimberly Mitchell and the school’s faculty embarked on a process of adopting the International Baccalaureate program. While Mitchell knew little about the IB program and its focus on inquiry-based instruction at the time, her research launched a worldwide exploration of what inquiry was and how great teachers are practicing it in their classrooms.

What Mitchell learned about how to implement inquiry-based instruction is featured in the University of Washington College of Education teaching associate’s new book “Experience Inquiry: 5 Powerful Strategies, 50 Practical Experiences.”

One part practical guide, one part interactive journal, “Experience Inquiry” provides educators the opportunity to do inquiry as they read about it. Mitchell shares what inquiry-based instruction looks like in practice through five key strategies, all of which can be immediately implemented in any learning environment.

While studies have shown the benefits of inquiry, Mitchell says that effective implementation involves changing beliefs about the teacher and student roles in the classroom. And critically, teachers must engage in inquiry themselves to successfully implement it in the classroom.

Listen to an interview with Mitchell below to learn more about what inquiry-based instruction look likes, how teachers can get start putting it into practice in their classrooms, the role of school leaders in encouraging inquiry-based instruction and more.


Kimberly Mitchell, Teaching Associate

Dustin Wunderlich, Director of Marketing and Communications