What Role Can Teacher Education Programs Play in Making Inquiry Based Learning an Instructional Norm?

By Robin James, Bonnie Rabe and Dina Rosen.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Despite evidence of effectiveness of collaborative, inquiry based learning (IBL) strategies, this approach seems to be uncommon rather than the instructional norm. Before we can share best practices for IBL with our pre-service teachers, we must first flesh out their attitudes and openness toward trying these innovative constructivist strategies. An attitude survey instrument was developed to tap into pre-service teachers' background knowledge and possible misconceptions of inquiry based learning. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed to better understand where the perceived resistance toward using IBL strategies is stemming from: too much time to prepare inquiry lessons, need to focus on test preparation, do not feel trained to implement these new strategies, classroom management will be a problem, etc. Implications for teacher education curriculum will be discussed. This study is significant because teacher preparation programs need to be aware of these obstacles that reduce the effectiveness of research based best practices they inspire their teacher candidates.

Keywords: Inquiry, teacher preparation,, 21st Century Skills, classroom management

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.23-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 305.446KB).

Dr. Robin James

Assistant Professeor and Coordinator of Secondary Education Program, Education and Educational Psychology Department, School of PRofessional Studies, Western Connecticut State University, Danubury, Connecticut, USA

Bonnie Rabe

Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Masters of Arts in Teaching Program, Department of Education and Educational Psychology, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Connecticut, USA

Dr. Dina Rosen

Assistant Professor, Early Childhood & Family Studies Department, Kean University, Union, New Jersey, USA