Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment, Collaboration, and Democracy
Purpose: Inquiry-based pedagogy is rare within the educational landscape. It is even more rare for students who face multiple challenges to success, including racism and poverty. Inquiry- based pedagogy substantially supports students with the deeper learning skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. The study examines the pedagogy and practice of urban teachers dedicated to inquiry-based teaching and learning. Research Method: The ethnographic study focused on three urban teachers who were highly recommended by colleagues and school leaders as having a strong and thoughtful inquiry-based practice. Over the course of fifteen months, the researcher conducted multiple observations of each teacher's class, interviewed each teacher multiple times, held three virtual meetings that brought together all three teachers, and interviewed their school leaders. I analyzed qualitative data to understand trends and patterns about the nature of each teacher's practice. Findings: Two central findings are the result of the study. First, inquiry-based teachers build complex systems and structures that focus on student agency and strong relationships between teacher and student(s). Second, because inquiry is complex, teacher development is a continuous process, and the colleagues and leaders at the school level are central to each teachers' continued development. Implications: The findings have implications on three levels. First, at the university level, young teachers entering the profession need substantive experiences with an inquiry-based pedagogy and a deep understanding of learning theory. Second, educational leaders need to understand how to create a school culture with inquiry as a central shared pedagogy that helps to build the collective efficacy of a school staff. Finally, policymakers should ensure that all students have access to an inquiry-based pedagogy.
Simon, Ken. (November 2019). Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment, Collaboration, and Democracy (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7610.)
Simon, Ken. Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment, Collaboration, and Democracy. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, November 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7610. August 13, 2020.
Simon, Ken, “Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment, Collaboration, and Democracy” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, November 2019).
Simon, Ken. Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment, Collaboration, and Democracy [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; November 2019.
East Carolina University