InquirED is an unusual EdTech startup in several ways. It combines curriculum and professional learning in ways that support teachers. It’s female-led. Shanti Elangovan is a scrappy entrepreneur with three master’s degrees (education, business and health). It’s based in Davenport, Iowa; not Silicon Valley. And it’s bootstrapped (no greedy VCs in the picture yet).

After leading mentorship at the Willowwind School in Iowa City, Elangovan joined Education Pioneers. She learned a lot about teacher development while directing programs at the National Center for Teacher Residency

She launched inquirED last year to help improve inquiry-based teaching. The platform includes elementary science and social studies lessons. ELA and math will be added next year.

“We supports schools in moving towards an inquiry-based approach by providing holistic tools for gradually building teacher practice,” said Elangovan.

Inquiry based-learning, according to Shanti, “is rooted in the drive to discover, the need to question, and the ability to create solutions that transform the world around us.”

Done well, inquiry-based learning engages students and builds standards-based content knowledge, 21st-century skills and socio-emotional intelligence.

“Rather than professional development and curriculum living separately, our platform embeds PD within customizable inquiry-based units, so teachers get the support they need, at the moment they need it,” she added.

The robust lesson builder helps teachers create 5-6 weeks units with possible extensions. Teachers can add field trips, links to experts and learn from implementation tip.

The subscription-based platform is available to schools and districts. Elangovan is looking for elementary pilot sites.

For more, see:


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