Inquiry: Our Academic Approach

Reimagining Rigor

  • RELEVANT: Learning sticks best when students can relate it to the world around them. Our curriculum connects the past to current events and developmental realities facing our students. Our students shouldn't be sitting in class asking, "why is this relevant to me?"
  • RELATIONAL: Students learn best from those they know and trust. Building meaningful relationships between students and teachers can deepen learning and help our students feel safe taking healthy risks as learners, allowing themselves real growth. 

An inquiry pedagogy guides our academic program, unlocking deep learning, intrinsic motivation, and helps students identify passions. 
  • From a student's perspective, inquiry-based learning focuses on moving past core content, deepening understanding through investigating open questions or problems. In addition, students must use evidence-based reasoning and creative problem-solving to reach and communicate conclusions.
  • From a teacher's point of view, inquiry-based teaching focuses on moving students beyond general curiosity and core content, building student capacity for critical thinking, application of learning, and deep understanding. Teachers are the content experts, guiding academic skill development while encouraging students to ask questions that make learning more meaningful and relevant, shepherding them through the investigation process.
Inquiry occurs throughout our students' educational journey at Bosque and manifests in a variety of ways:
  1. Micro-moments of inquiry: "take the next five minutes in teams to brainstorm a list of all of the questions you would want answered to better understand this core concept we just learned about."
  2. Medium moments of inquiry: "now that we have read this series of short stories as a class and discussed plot, characters, and themes as a group, for your assessment, I will ask each of you to create a research question of interest to you that you would like to explore further. What arose or piqued your interest in these stories? You will then write a research paper on this topic of personal interest." 
  3. Macro moments of inquiry, most notably defined by our capstone divisional experiences: 8th Grade Inquiry Project and Senior Thesis

Outstanding teachers and well-designed learning experiences are the foundation of our school. Over 80% of our teachers have advanced degrees, and 100% of them are passionate, talented, student-centered educators. 

Rather than going a mile wide and an inch deep with academic content, teaching and learning at Bosque School moves students beyond a superficial understanding of academic disciplines. We believe that a dynamic, collaborative, and experiential curriculum prepares our students for college and beyond. In keeping with many independent schools around the United States, we intentionally avoid test-focused curricula such as the AP (see relevant research to support this decision here).

At Bosque School, we provide students ongoing opportunities for autonomy, agency, and ownership of their learning. These opportunities are fostered through our inquiry model (see above). Students are expected to actively engage in their education with curiosity and commitment. Encouraging student ownership results in intrinsic motivation learning and accelerates and deepens learning. 

Our decisions at Bosque are guided by the most current research on teaching, learning, neuroscience, adolescent development, and current educational and global trends. Please click here to see samples of the kinds of research guiding our curricular and academic decisions.