What role can teacher education programs play in making inquiry based learning an instructional norm?

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Inquiry based learning (IBL) is one of many terms used to describe educational approaches that are driven more by a learner's questions than by a teacher's lessons. Through IBL, students learn to explore, observe, question, pose explanations test ideas, analyse information, draw logical conclusions, and/build models. Despite research evidence of the effectiveness of IBL strategies, it appears to be uncommon in K-12 classrooms and not the instructional norm. This study explores this paradox by examining pre-service teachers' attitudes and openness toward IBL. Preservice teachers from two Institutions of Higher Education, Western Connecticut State University and Kean University were surveyed. Specifically this project explored whether pre-service teachers come to Teacher Education programs with an openness to IBL or with resistant attitudes that become potential barriers toward their acceptance of IBL strategies. Study findings revealed that overall the pre-service teachers held positive attitudes toward IBL. However, resistance building attitudes emerged during this study as pre-service teachers anticipated implementation. © Common Ground.

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International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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