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Concept-Based Inquiry in Action - Book Cover Look Inside

Concept-Based Inquiry in Action

Strategies to Promote Transferable Understanding

By: Rachel Leah French, Carla Marschall

Concept-Based Inquiry in Action provides teachers with the tools and resources necessary to facilitate the construction and transfer of conceptual understanding in any K-12 classroom.
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506391298
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Teaching Essentials
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 368
  • Publication date: June 21, 2018

Price: $37.95

Price: $37.95
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"This is exactly what my school needs right now to support colleagues to build on the foundations of our written concept-based curriculum and to take-off our taught curriculum to the next - and highest - levels."
Neville Kirton, Deputy Head of Secondary
Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogota, Colombia

"Filled with strategies, illustrations, diagrams, and pictures, this book really gives you the insight you need to help students better understand what they are learning. So many great ideas that can be used in any classroom. A must read for all educators."
Amanda McKee, 9th, Algebra/Geometry, Secondary Certified Instructor/Mentor
Johnsonville High School, Johnsonville, SC

Create a thinking classroom that helps students move from the factual to the conceptual

All students deserve the opportunity to think conceptually. But seeing conceptual relationships does not come naturally to every student. How can teachers construct thinking classrooms where students can move from the factual to the conceptual level of thinking?

Concept-Based Inquiry in Action has the answers. In this book, the authors marry theory with practice to create a new framework for inquiry that promotes deep understanding: Concept-Based Inquiry. The key is helping students to inquire into concepts and the relationships between them using guiding questions developed by the teacher, the students themselves, or by the teacher and students together. Step by step, the authors lead both new and experienced educators to implement teaching strategies that support the realization of inquiry-based learning for understanding in any K–12 classroom.

The book and its accompanying website are rich with the resources necessary to facilitate the construction and transfer of conceptual understanding, including

  • Numerous practical teaching strategies, aligned to each phase of Concept-Based Inquiry, that can be modified for diverse populations
  • Visual notes that represent significant ideas discussed within each chapter
  • Videos of instructional strategies and teacher interviews that show Concept-Based Inquiry in action in K–12 classrooms around the world
  • Templates of graphic organizers, sample anchor charts, and blackline masters that support the use of teaching strategies in the classroom
  • Planners that show how the phases of Concept-Based Inquiry come together in a unit

In a world filled with complexity, the role of the teacher as a facilitator of conceptual understanding has never been more pressing. Concept-Based Inquiry in Action provides teachers with the tools necessary to organize and focus student learning around concepts and conceptual relationships that support deep understanding.

Key features

 The book will feature:
  • A new framework for inquiry that leads to deeper understanding: Concept-Based Inquiry
  • Blackline masters/templates of graphic organizers and student rubrics, supporting use of teaching strategies in the classroom.
  • Videos of instructional strategies and teacher interviews, showing Concept-Based Inquiry in action. With footage across multiple continents and from different school settings, our video component demonstrates various ways that concept-based practices have been adapted to meet the unique needs of the classroom.


Rachel Leah French photo

Rachel Leah French

Rachel French, MA Ed, Rachel is a full-time educational consultant and presenter. Through workshops and ongoing consultation Rachel supports schools around the world with the planning and implementation of Concept-Based Inquiry.  She also coaches and provides feedback to teams of teachers on curriculum development. She is experienced in aligning Concept-Based Inquiry and the IB programmes.

Rachel is an international teacher, who has worked in schools in South America, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. She is a certified Independent Consultant, Presenter and Trainer with Lynn Erickson and Lois Lanning. Rachel has presented numerous workshops in Europe and Asia, including workshops with Dr. Erickson, Dr. Lanning and Carla Marschall.

Rachel is also the director of Professional Learning International (PLI), a company she founded to support  international schools and educators in accessing leading professional development opportunities. Through PLI, Rachel French is now the sole provider of the annual Dr. H. Lynn Erickson and Dr. Lois A. Lanning Certification Institute for Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Trainers and Presenters.



Carla Marschall photo

Carla Marschall

Carla Marschall is an experienced educator, curriculum developer, and pedagogical leader, who has worked in a variety of leadership roles in international schools in Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, and Singapore over the past ten years. She currently works as the Director of Teaching & Learning at UWC South East Asia, with the mission to make “education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.” A certified Lynn Erickson Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Consultant, Carla is the co-author of Concept-Based Inquiry in Action (Corwin, 2018). Carla holds a Masters in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Masters in Applied Educational Leadership and Management from the Institute of Education, University of London. 


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by H. Lynn Erickson and Lois A. Lanning


About the Authors

About the Illustrator


Chapter 1: The Foundations of Concept-Based Inquiry

     Bringing Together Inquiry-Based and Concept-Based Learning

Part 1: Exploring Inquiry-Based Learning

     Inquiry Approaches in Concept-Based Inquiry

Part 2: Exploring Concept-Based Learning

     Concepts as Organizers

     The Structures of Knowledge and Process

     Disciplines Draw From Knowledge and Process

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 2: Concept-Based Inquiry

     A Model of Concept-Based Inquiry

     The Phases of Concept-Based Inquiry

     The Complexity of Inquiry

     Concept-Based Inquiry and the Inductive Approach

     Creating a Culture of Concept-Based Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 3: Planning for Concept-Based Inquiry

     What Planning Steps Support Concept-Based Inquiry?

     How Can Teachers Enhance Their Understanding of a Unit?

     What Role Do Guiding Questions Play in Concept-Based Inquiry?

     What Do the Phases of Concept-Based Inquiry Look Like in a Unit?

     Pacing in Concept-Based Inquiry

     How Do the Phases of Inquiry Support Teacher Planning for Concept-Based Inquiry?

     What Are Approaches for Making Interdisciplinary Links?

     Connecting to the Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 4: Engage

     Activating Prior Knowledge Using Engagement Strategies

     Using Strategies to Motivate Students

     Initial Questions, Initial Thinking

     Rethinking Our Use of Engagement Strategies

     Opinion-Based Strategies

     Experiential Strategies

     Discussion-Based Strategies

     Assessment in the Engage Phase

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 5: Focus

     Using Concept Formation Strategies to Focus an Inquiry

     Concepts Provide Breadth and Depth

     Levels of Conceptual Thinking

     Effective Concept Formation Practices

     Concept Formation Strategies: Deductive and Inductive Approaches

     Choosing Concept Formation Strategies

     Assessment in the Focus Phase

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 6: Investigate

     The Power of Factual Examples

     Case Study Approaches

     Focus on Skill Development

     A Preface to Strategies

     Assessment in the Investigate Phase

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 7: Organize

     Making Meaning Using Organizers

     Cognitive Load Theory and the Importance of Organizing

     Representation and Conceptual Understanding

     Sharing Findings as a Community of Inquirers

     A Preface to Strategies

     Assessment in the Organize Phase

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 8: Generalize

     An Inductive Approach to Generalizing

     Developing Strong Generalizations

     Scaffolding Thinking

     The Value of Recording Generalizations

     The Importance of Discussion

     A Preface to Strategies

     Assessment in the Generalize Phase

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 9: Transfer

     Transfer That Deepens Understanding

     Testing and Justifying Generalizations

     Understanding New Events and Situations

     Predicting and Hypothesizing

     Applying Learning

     Taking Action

     Assessment in the Transfer Phase

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 10: Reflect

     The Power of Reflection

     The Reflective Cycle

     Building Agency

     Reflection Throughout the Inquiry

     Assessing Reflection Throughout the Inquiry

     Connecting Phases of Inquiry

     Pause and Reflect

Chapter 11: Concluding Thoughts

     A Vision for Thinking Classrooms

     Understand and Adapt


     Resource A. Concept-Based Inquiry Glossary of Terms

     Resource B. Concept-Based Inquiry Planner

     Resource C. Sample Concept-Based Inquiry Planner: Industrialization Unit