Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment , Collaboration , and Democracy

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kenneth Simon (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Ken Simon , INQUIRY: A PEDAGOGY FOR PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT , COLLABORATION , AND DEMOCRACY (Under the direction of Dr. Matthew Militello). Department of Educational Leadership , December , 2019. Purpose: Inquiry-based pedagogy is rare within the educational landscape. It is even more rare for students who face multiple challenges to success , including racism and poverty. Inquiry- based pedagogy substantially supports students with the deeper learning skills of critical thinking , problem-solving , and collaboration. The study examines the pedagogy and practice of urban teachers dedicated to inquiry-based teaching and learning. Research Method: The ethnographic study focused on three urban teachers who were highly recommended by colleagues and school leaders as having a strong and thoughtful inquiry-based practice. Over the course of fifteen months , the researcher conducted multiple observations of each teacher's class , interviewed each teacher multiple times , held three virtual meetings that brought together all three teachers , and interviewed their school leaders. I analyzed qualitative data to understand trends and patterns about the nature of each teacher's practice. Findings: Two central findings are the result of the study. First , inquiry-based teachers build complex systems and structures that focus on student agency and strong relationships between teacher and student(s). Second , because inquiry is complex , teacher development is a continuous process , and the colleagues and leaders at the school level are central to each teachers' continued development. Implications: The findings have implications on three levels. First , at the university level , young teachers entering the profession need substantive experiences with an inquiry-based pedagogy and a deep understanding of learning theory. Second , educational leaders need to understand how to create a school culture with inquiry as a central shared pedagogy that helps to build the collective efficacy of a school staff. Finally , policymakers should ensure that all students have access to an inquiry-based pedagogy.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Inquiry, equity, Inquiry-based pedagogy, urban education, Deeper Learning

Email this document to

This item references:

TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
Inquiry: A Pedagogy for Personal Empowerment , Collaboration , and Democracy described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.