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ERIC Number: EJ789203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1053-8259
Are Dewey's Ideas Alive and Well in New Zealand Undergraduate Education? Kiwi Case Studies of Inquiry-Based Learning
O'Steen, Billy
Journal of Experiential Education, v30 n3 p299-303 Spr 2008
Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is an approach that could be used by undergraduate educators that appears to meet the suggestions by Dewey to integrate students' interests and experiences with content knowledge. The IBL approach has been described as "a range of strategies used to promote learning through students' active, and increasingly independent, investigation of questions, problems and issues, often for which there is no single answer". Further, defining characteristics of IBL, such as: "It is student directed, it encourages reflection on the teaching/learning process, it develops collaborative learning skills, it promotes active and deep learning", align with most descriptions of experiential education. In order to identify, explore, and describe what an IBL approach looks like in undergraduate education, research was conducted during the first semester of 2007 at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Through a grant from the New Zealand Ministry of Education, three in-depth case studies of undergraduate classes in Communications Disorders (CMDS 381: Clinical Practice 3), Engineering (ENGR101: Foundations of Engineering), and Sociology (SOCI 111: Exploring Society) were developed. To do this, the Naturalistic Inquiry conceptual framework, data collection, and data processing strategies described by Lincoln and Guba (1985) were used. The full case study for each course provides a thick description of the contexts to provide a nuanced understanding of students' and teachers' experiences in relation to characteristics of IBL in the literature.
Publisher: Association for Experiential Education. 3775 Iris Avenue Suite 4, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 866-522-8337; Fax: 303-440-9581; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand