The Interrogative Model of Inquiry and Inquiry Learning

  • Emmanuel J. GenotEmail author
  • Agneta Gulz
Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 8)


Hakkarainen and Sintonen (Sci Educ 11(1):25–43, 2002) praise the descriptive adequacy of Hintikka’s Interrogative Model of Inquiry (imi) to describe children’s practices in an inquiry-based learning context. They further propose to use the imi as a starting point for developing new pedagogical methods and designing new didactic tools. We assess this proposal in the light of the formal results that in the imi characterize interrogative learning strategies. We find that these results actually reveal a deep methodological issue for inquiry-based learning, namely that educators cannot guarantee that learners will successfully acquire a content, without limiting learner’s autonomy, and that a trade-off between success and autonomy is unavoidable. As a by-product of our argument, we obtain a logical characterization of serendipity.


Interrogative model of inquiry Inquiry learning Strategy theorem Logic of discovery Sherlock Holmes 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PhilosophyLund University–LUXLundSweden
  2. 2.Cognitive ScienceLund University–LUXLundSweden

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