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Reigniting Curiosity and Inquiry in Higher Education


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Table of Contents

Foreword—Alastair Summerlee Acknowledgments Introduction Part I. The Fundamental Principles of IBL and Adopting a Curiosity Mindset 1. The Fundamental Principles of Inquiry-Based Learning 2. Developing a Curiosity-Based Mindset and Reimagining the Roles of Instructor and Student in IBL-HE Part II. How Do I Determine Where to Start with My IBL-HE Practice? 3. Should I Start from Scratch or Adapt What I Already Have? 4. How Much IBL and How Much Structure Should I Include When Getting Started? 5. What Are My Options for Assessing Learning in IBL-HE? Part III. How Do I Get My Students Started with IBL-HE? 6. How Do I Encourage Students to Participate and Ask Good Questions? 7. How Do My Students and I Choose Research Methods in IBL-HE? 8. I Know Reflection is Important but What Do I Ask Students to Reflect On? 9. What Kind of Feedback Do Students Need From Me and Each Other? Part IV. How Do We Build the Supportive Relationships that Allow IBL-HE to Thrive? 10. How Do I Create a Trusting Classroom Environment that Supports Interdependent Learning? 11. How Can I Incorporate the Community in MY IBL-HE Practice? 12. How Do I Find Mentoring and Build a Community of Practice? 13. What Kind of Institutional Support Do I Need to be Successful at IBL-HE? Part V. What Does Successful IBL-HE Look Like in the End? 14. Student Engagement and Pride in Learning 15. Adopting a Lifelong and Life-Wide Learning Mindset and Using Your Inquiry Skills Beyond the Classroom 16. Academic and Personal Transformation 17. Increased Social Justice Focus In and Out of the IBL-HE Classroom Conclusion. The End of This Book is Just the Beginning Appendix A. Structured Controversy Appendix B. The Curiosity Project Appendix C. First Year Inquiry Studies Appendix D. IBL in Block Week and Group Study Appendix E. Additional Resources References About the Authors Index

About the Author

Stacey L. MacKinnon is an associate professor with the Department of Psychology at the University of Prince Edward Island. Stacey has spent the last 12 years designing and implementing The Curiosity Project and the past six years developing and coordinating UPEI 1020 First Year Inquiry Studies. She is the recipient of the 2012 Hessian Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2012 President’s Award of Merit for Teaching, 2016 UPEI Professor of the Year, and the 2022 Janet Pottie Murray Award for Excellence in Education Leadership. As a lifelong and life-wide learner herself, Stacey strives to inspire her students and colleagues to fully engage their curiosity mindset and inquiry skills to explore all the possibilities our world has to offer. She is currently developing a new approach to reading non-fiction that incorporates active inquiry to improve students’ ability and willingness to engage in deeper critical understanding, academic discussion and the quality of both their informal and formal writing. She strongly believes that learning should be both enjoyable and challenging for both the students and professor. By harnessing our curiosity or “desire to inquire”, much can be done to achieve that goal. Beth Archer-Kuhn is an associate professor with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. As a Teaching and Learning Scholar (Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning) and recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award (Faculty of Social Work), Beth has spent the last ten years learning about IBL-HE through implementation and SoTL research with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students within courses on-campus, study abroad, and on-line. She believes IBL-HE is a socially just and inclusive pedagogy that aligns with the values of social work education, can support students with varied learning preferences, and allows students the necessary choice and agency to inspire lifelong learners.


“This book is timely and prescient. It provides a hands-on, practical guide to evolutionary changes in methods of pedagogy that can be used by individual instructors and faculty or taken in larger chunks to change the approaches to teaching and learning across courses and programs in higher education. It will be a valuable asset to teachers and learners alike. Employers, students and parents are demanding change like never before. The advent of social media, ubiquitously available information through the internet, the rapidly changing pace of societal change through continued automation, and the pandemic require seismic shifts in ways of thinking and working. Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is a vital tool in making that adaption.”From the Foreword by Alastair Summerlee, former president and vice-chancellor of Guelph University; professor in biomedical sciences

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