Since you are reading this blog, you are probably already "sold" on the concept of inquiry-based learning -- or interested in it, at the very least. Far from being a completely unstructured form of education, inquiry-based learning requires that a teacher do significant advance planning in order to achieve optimal results in the classroom. Guiding student exploration and discovery is critical to the success of inquiry learning.
A post on the YouthLearn site concisely identifies some important components to inquiry-based learning, stressing the necessity of planning, as well as delving into the inquiry process in detail. It's a great article for experienced teachers as well as those new to using inquiry in the classroom. Read it here: