As part of my grad school coursework, I have written an elevator speech explaining the importance of inquiry-based learning in History/Social Science. Here's what I came up with:
The adoption of Inquiry-based learning in History/Social Science Education ensures that students are not performing rote memorization and regurgitation of dates, facts, figures, people, and places. Instead, they are learning the disciplinary knowledge and practices that will allow them to develop a deeper and more holistic understanding of History, Government / Civics, Geography, and Economics. Students are taught to think critically about the information: to evaluate the source(s), to consider the temporal and spatial context from which it originates, and to identify any biases that may impact its reliability. They learn to look for connections and causal relationships between systems, events, decisions, and cultures; and also to their world and experiences. The ultimate goal of inquiry-based learning is not merely to impart content knowledge, but to teach students the skill set and thought processes required to be informed, active, and engaged citizens. In light of current events, I believe that this is critical.
I'll be refining this over course of the term but this is my quick take on the subject right now. Yes? No? Maybe so?