Concept-Based Inquiry in Action (8-Week Online Course)


Workshop Description


Who has heard about the powerful potential of bringing Concept-Based learning and Inquiry-Based learning togetherConcept-Based Inquiry is a pedagogical approach that:

  • Builds conceptual understanding

  • Promotes student agency

  • Helps students to develop as confident and articulate thinkers


Some of you already design Concept-Based units because your school uses a Concept-Based Curriculum or because you have participated in our CBCI courses, workshops and/or the Erickson and Lanning CBCI Trainer Certification. Others may already be teaching through inquiry, using structured, guided, and/or open inquiry-based learning approaches in your classroom. But what happens when we merge Concept-Based and Inquiry-Based learning?


This is exactly what we will explore in our online course Concept-Based Inquiry in Action, designed for K-12 teachers, curriculum coordinators and school leaders.


Over a period of eight weeks beginning 09 September 2022, we will show you exactly how to teach through Concept-Based Inquiry using self-paced video modules, group and individual coaching, book study and hands-on unit design. You will learn specific teaching strategies that will help you use an inductive process to support students in coming up with their own understanding, with our step-by-step Concept-Based Inquiry Model (French & Marschall, 2016). 


Get ready to learn exactly how to design and teach through a Concept-Based Inquiry approach. In this online course, Concept-Based Inquiry in Action, you will...


  • ​Deepen your understanding of Concept-Based Inquiry so that you can empower students to build transferable conceptual understanding

  • Dig deep into each phase of inquiry to understand the purpose and critical design components, enabling you to use this approach flexibly in your own unit design

  • ​Explore a range of strategies at each phase of inquiry that you can implement in your own school or classroom.

  • ​Think more intentionally about learning experiences and how you will sequence and pace learning engagements in your classroom to scaffold students' thinking.

  • ​Understand the flexible nature of a model of inquiry in a way that promotes revisiting phases as required and respects the beautifully messy, non-linear nature of true inquiry.




You will be designing your own Concept-Based Inquiry lessons, applying your newly acquired skills and knowledge to the context of your own school or classroom environment. Are you feeling excited about getting to see the powerful impact Concept-Based Inquiry can have on your students' engagement, and most importantly, learning transfer?

This is powerful stuff... When online workshops were first created, they often involved exhaustive reading lists, and they were filled with assignments and tasks that often felt like time-fillers. Changes in technology have allowed us to interact in new ways that are more engaging and conducive to meaningful collaboration. This opportunity will be very different from any online workshop you may have done before... (Well, unless you have participated in one of our other online workshops at Professional Learning International, in which case this will be the same format you know and love!


Here’s what we mean by that...

Our goal for the online workshop is to unlock the power of Concept-Based Inquiry in your classroom. We have thought long and hard about the format of this workshop and how to best facilitate your learning. And we finally settled on a series of engaging components that are designed to work together seamlessly, providing you with maximum support and the confidence to implement this into your practice. 


Concept-Based Inquiry in Action is divided into 12 self-paced modules that we will explore over a period of eight weeks. Each module contains a set of videos where we break down Concept-Based Inquiry and each of the phases from our model. New modules will appear for you every week when you log in to our course portal.




One of us will personally be there to provide you with support in our weekly one-hour group coaching calls. These calls are opportunities to clarify understandings, get feedback on your design process, and learn from questions other participants are asking. Once you have completed the workshop, we genuinely want to ensure that the lessons you have designed are classroom-ready, so... you will have a 45-minute one-on-one private coaching call to review your planning and work together on ensuring you are ready to put your learning into action!

(However, if you are one of many participants from the same school/organisation booking for the one-on-ones, we do encourage a main contact to book for a single group coaching session rather than individually.)

BUT… To unlock a spot in our calendars, you must be willing to put in the work, complete your unit design, and have a genuine desire to improve your practice. Are you committed to taking your teaching to the next level?


And one more thing... 


Each participant will receive a free e-book copy of:


Concept-Based Inquiry in Action

By Carla Marschall and Rachel French

Published by Corwin, 2018


We have also designed book study guides around each chapter to ensure you are able to get the most out of your reading.

Here’s what we’ll be doing during each week of course:


In Week 1, we will lay the foundation and build common understanding around two distinct pedagogical approaches: Concept-Based learning and Inquiry-Based learning. Exploring these approaches separately will allow you to understand the intent of each one. You will see how they can be combined to empower students as thinkers who have ownership of their understandings, and how they can help your students develop the skills to transfer learning to new contexts. You will also be introduced to the Concept-Based Inquiry Model. This model is designed to simplify a complex process and give you and your students a framework for building conceptual understanding inductively.


In Weeks 2-4 you will focus on unit design working to clearly articulate the Understandings, Knowledge and Skills that provide the foundation for the learning experience. 


Weeks 5-8, you will delve into each phase of inquiry to understand its purpose and theoretical grounding, then look at examples of the phases in action through videos of classrooms from around the world. 


You will explore practical strategies for implementing the Concept-Based Inquiry Model in your classroom and work on designing and teaching your own lesson plans. Throughout the course you will be working on the development of a unit plan or two lesson plans for your final assignment, where you support students in generalizing and transferring their understanding. You will then book a private coaching call to review your planner.

Sound interesting? And powerful? It is!

We hope you will join us on this journey! This course is a transformative opportunity for educators to take their teaching and curriculum development to the next level.


You will learn…

  • How to use concepts as the basis for transferable understanding.

  • ​The importance of having clarity around what you want your students to know, understand and be able to do within your structured or guided inquiry -- and the foundational role knowledge and skills play in building conceptual understanding.

  • How to get students to do the thinking rather than telling them the big idea, generalization, Statement of Inquiry, or Central Idea.

  • The distinct difference between structured, guided and open inquiry and the benefits and challenges of each kind of inquiry, so you can be more intentional in your lesson design.

  • The role of both student and teacher questions in a Concept-Based Inquiry unit.

  • How the success of a unit can hang in the case studies that students choose for inquiry and the guidance you must provide to support students in collaboratively building understanding.

  • The importance of organizing information to reduce cognitive load -- and practical classroom-tested strategies to help students organize their ideas so they can see patterns and make connections.

  • How to design lessons that get your students interested not only in their own inquiry, but also in their peers' research.

  • How to promote student agency and empower learners.

  • The powerful roles assessment and reflection play in a Concept-Based Inquiry classroom.


Are you ready to be amazed at what your students are capable of once you let them do the thinking for themselves?


This course is for educators who are life-long learners and believe it’s important to empower their students. Educators who believe in their students’ capacity to think and build understanding for themselves. As our dear friend and mentor Dr. Lynn Erickson says, “Thinking classrooms require thinking teachers."

Target Audience: Zonal Directors, Cluster Superintendents, School Leaders, Heads of Department, Teacher Leaders, Instructional Coaches, Key Personnel, Teachers (K-12)

Benefits of Attending This Course:

  • Achieve desired practical learning outcomes

  • *Have access to 12 powerful learning modules that lay the groundwork and guide you through the step-by-step process of Concept-Based Inquiry unit design

  • Have an opportunity to clarify understandings and get feedback on your design process during each of the 8 weeks of group coaching calls

  • Receive personalized feedback on your own Concept-Based Inquiry unit design or lesson designs during the **45-minute private coaching session

  • Receive a ***free e-book copy of Concept-Based Inquiry in Action: Strategies to Promote Transferable Understanding (Marschall & French, 2018)

  • Own an e-certificate of achievement at the end of the course

* The course content is available for review at the online Course Portal for up to four weeks after the final modules are released in Week 8. This gives participants time to review any content they wish and complete the assignment and book their one-on-one call. They will then lose access to ALL online materials once this time has lapsed.

** For the one-to-one private coaching session at the end of the course (after Week 8), if you are one of many participants from the same school/organisation booking for the one-on-ones, we do encourage a main contact to book for a single group coaching session rather than individually. Booking details would be shared with our participants at a later time.

*** The Course portal login details, together with a code for downloading the 'Concept-Based Inquiry in Action' ebook, would be shared with all registered participants approximately 1-2 weeks before the course commences. 

Workshop Registration Details

Presenters: Dr Rachel French and Dr Carla Marschall

Course Period: 8 Weeks from 09 September to 03 November 2022

Group Coaching Sessions: Every Thursday (15, 22, 29 Sep, 06, 13, 20, 27 Oct & 03 Nov 2022), 8:30am to 9:30am SGT

Venue: Online Course Portal & Zoom

Registration Closing: 19 August 2022 or whenever upper limit is reached

[Limited vacancies/First-come-first-serveRegister early to secure your spot!]

Course Fee (nett per pax):

Per participant: S$1,310.00

Early Bird: Register by 29 April 2022 (incl.) for additional 10% discount

Register Here +

[For large group registration (7 or more), you may click here to download the group registration form.

Complete the form and submit it to email: ]


  1. A place will be reserved for you upon receipt of your registration.

  2. A confirmation email with the respective workshop details will be sent to you at least one week before the session.

For Payment

  1. Invoices will be billed approximately one month before the course commences.

  2. We accept payment by 'IFAAS e-invoice' (for MOE schools/organisations only), 'Bank/Telegraphic transfer' and 'PayNow' to UEN: 201724937R. Select your payment mode in the registration form. An invoice will be generated to the Finance Officer according to the payment mode selected.

  3. Payments are to be made in the currency of Singapore Dollars (SGD) and in full amount within 30 days of the invoice date.

  4. For payment by 'Bank/Telegraphic transfer' and 'PayNow', please indicate the invoice number as the bill reference number. For 'PayNow' payment, please select the 'PayNow to UEN' option. Please enter UEN:201724937R and the correct payment amount. Indicate the invoice number as the bill reference number.

  5. Please note that we are not accepting cash or cheques. Self-funding individuals could pay by 'Bank/Telegraphic transfer' or 'PayNow'.

  6. Any bank charges incurred as a result of bank/telegraphic transfers will have to be borne by the payer.


Illumien Asia accepts one-to-one replacement for registered participants who are unable to attend for various reasons. For such cases, kindly inform Illumien Asia beforehand if possible so that our participants' records are up-to-date.


Withdrawal / No-Show
For any withdrawal or no-show, participants will be subjected to the following charges:

Withdrawal Notice Period - Penalty

More than 14 days - 50% of course fee

14 days or less - 100% of course fee

No-Show - 100% of course fee

Illumien Asia reserves the right to change or cancel the workshop due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a cancellation, all registrants will receive full refund.