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Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk , VA 23502
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Student Research Projects

Inquiry-Based Learning: Is it feasible in our current Standards Movement?

Student Cheryl E. Powell
Department Education
Course INST482


I have been hearing a lot of buzz lately about inquiry based learning being instituted in classes at the college level. While in INST202, I chose to write a paper on the definition and background of inquiry-based learning in the educational arena. Interestingly enough, I found that inquiry-based learning actually dates back to Socrates. The new term simply affords a new twist and perhaps a new following. When INST482 gave me the opportunity to take the found information one step further, I decided to research whether or not today teachers believe inquiry-based learning methods can be employed in their own classrooms despite the demands and time constraints of a standards-dictated curriculum. Research read from theorists, critics, and promoters have taught me that educational practices are cyclical. An educational method is implemented, studied, and improved. Then, another method comes along that catches the attention of politicians and parents, and it is implemented, studied, and improved. All this, unfortunately, takes place at the expense of our children. The purpose of my project is to survey current elementary-level teachers to gauge the level of interest in inquiry-based learning and the feasibility of implementing inquiry-based learning in a standards-based environment.

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