Workshop on Concept Based Inquiry

An enlightening event with Rachel French

The weekend of October 28th and 29th, 2023, brought an exciting and informative event to the Shenzhen Shekou International School (The Bay Campus). Teachers and educators from various parts of the region gathered to attend a workshop on Concept-Based Inquiry, which was dedicated to teaching strategies and specific ideas for implementation.

The event began promptly at 8:30 am on that Saturday morning, and the excitement in the air was evident. The anticipation was heightened by the fact that the workshop featured an experienced presented, Rachel French who had flown into China for the very first time. This added an extra layer of enthusiasm to the event, and the attendees were eager to gain insights and knowledge from a fresh perspective.

Meet our workshop Presenter – Rachel French


Rachel French, a certified Independent Concept-Based Consultant with over 12 years of experience in innovative curriculum design, has been instrumental in transforming how educators teach and students learn. It's worth noting that she was mentored by the founders of Concept-Based Curriculum, Dr. H. Lynn Erickson and Dr. Lois A. Lanning. In fact, Rachel was entrusted with the exclusive worldwide rights to be the sole provider of the Erickson and Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum, making her a true expert in the field. Rachel's primary goal is to empower fellow educators in their journey to reshape classrooms and schools. She achieves this by offering top-tier professional development, guiding the development and implementation of Concept-Based Inquiry units, and fostering the adoption of a Concept-Based curriculum development approach.

Concept Based Inquiry in Action


The workshop's agenda was both comprehensive and practical. It delved deeply into the idea of Concept-Based Inquiry and focused on equipping educators with the necessary tools and strategies for implementing this approach effectively. The day commenced with a model lesson, where teachers actively participated in using guiding questions and exploring various case studies to build their own conceptual understanding. The subsequent debrief allowed them to reflect on the role of questions and the process of inductive teaching. Teachers really loved it!

The highlight of the event was the introduction of a Concept-Based Inquiry model, a pedagogical approach developed by French and Marschall, which encompasses six distinct phases. Participants were fully involved in a range of teaching practices aimed at fostering students' ability to think conceptually. To illustrate these key strategies, video clips of Concept-Based Inquiry in action were shared, making the learning experience even more engaging and interactive.


Additionally, the workshop provided a platform for educators to consider how specific, practical instructional strategies could enhance their current teaching units. Participants left the event equipped with a toolkit of strategies that could be immediately implemented in their classrooms, which was met with great enthusiasm and appreciation.

Throughout the event, teachers also had the opportunity to reflect on their own teaching methods, especially in terms of structured, guided, and open inquiry to promote conceptual understanding. Video clips were used to illustrate the types of thinking that develop at each stage of the teaching and learning process, making it easier for participants to visualize the practical implementation of the Concept-Based Inquiry approach.


The event wouldn't have been possible without the hosting by Shenzhen Shekou International School, and the audience was extremely engaged throughout the workshop. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees finding the workshop both interesting and helpful. It was a truly enriching experience that left teachers inspired and better equipped to implement Concept-Based Inquiry in their classrooms.

In the future, IES plans to organize additional workshops. Schools and teachers who are interested can visit the website for more information.

IES Mission & Vision

We endeavor to facilitate professional partnerships between international schools and educators. As such, we strive to offer transparency regarding schools and educators to help ensure ideal matches and the satisfaction of all of our clients. 

Our vision is to unite schools and education professionals with the common goal of building school communities that value safety, inclusion, and integrity and guiding students to become well-rounded lifelong learners and global citizens.