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ERIC Number: EJ978642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0633
Lessons Learned: The McMaster Inquiry Story from Innovation to Institutionalization
Cuneo, Carl; Harnish, Del; Roy, Dale; Vajoczki, Susan
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n129 p93-104 Spr 2012
There are unique moments in curriculum development when an opportunity for a fresh start or a major turn in design fleetingly presents itself. These moments opened up in different locations across McMaster University at different times and eventually led to several quite different initiatives in inquiry-guided learning (IGL). Well-travelled pedagogical ideas combined with administrative openings and faculty interest to foster IGL within and across disciplines. Bell's work on general education (Bell, 1966), along with the ideas of self-directed learning described by Knowles (1975) and Candy (1991), were influential during the early stages of IGL. Pockets of experimentation in collaborative self-directed learning emerged across the campus over a thirty-year period. An institutional culture that prized risk taking and innovation nurtured these experiments. But innovation does not occur in a vacuum. Traditional teaching methods that emphasized disciplinary content, along with a reward system that emphasized research over teaching, posed significant challenges. And administrators had to be convinced that it was worthwhile to allocate budget items to ill-defined pedagogical initiatives. In this article, the authors discuss some of the enabling factors that helped to encourage early experimentation in IGL and push it toward greater institutionalization, as well as some of the challenges and obstacles that had to be overcome. Although higher education institutions are diverse, each with their unique histories, experiences, and identities, the experience at McMaster University may be useful to other institutions as they experiment with IGL in their own curricula. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada