Disciplined Inquiry (Research)

Disciplined inquiry is discovery learning which is regulated by criteria for conducting research to create knowledge. Peirce called this the scientific method of resolving doubt to fixate belief.

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When there is no teacher to do the guiding, and the learner is on his or her own (i.e., not a student), then the learner can apply criteria for disciplined inquiry (already known to the learner) in order to structure his or her inquiry. Through disciplined inquiry the learner may achieve new knowing that, knowing that one, or knowing how. If the learner also records signs of this new knowing, then new knowledge has been created.

If this new knowledge becomes new content for education, then teachers themselves can subsequently learn it either through discovery learning or through further education. Once teachers know the new content, they can guide their students' learning of this content. For example, after the Periodic Table (of chemical elements) was discovered through disciplined inquiry, it then became part of the content of chemistry. After chemistry teachers learned the Periodic Table, they could then lead their students to learn the Periodic Table. That learning would not be disciplined inquiry (on the learner's part). The students would not be rediscovering the Periodic Table in order to create new knowledge. They would simply be learning about the known Periodic Table under the guidance of their teacher.