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Curiosity & Inquiry-Based Learning in Higher Education

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Taylor Family Institute for teaching and Learning

University of Calgary

434 Collegiate Boulevard NW

Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Canada

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Curiosity & Inquiry-Based Learning in Higher Education: A Working Conference



A Collaboration between the University of Calgary & University of Prince Edward Island

Calgary, AB
October 10th, 2017
Register Before: September 30, 2017


Only 40 places available. $25 Registration fee, collected at the door

Hosted by Dr. Beth Archer-Kuhn (UCalgary) and Dr. Stacey MacKinnon (UPEI), this working conference is designed to explore issues in curiosity and inquiry-based learning that are unique to higher education settings. Our goal for this one-day gathering is to delve into current issues in using IBL in the classroom, highlight current SoTL research in the area, and give participants an opportunity to form communities of practice and research that can grow and strengthen into project collaborations.

Morning Session

Introducing IBL: The morning session will begin with an introduction to IBL by experienced educators and current University of Calgary PhD students Kim Grant and Jeff Turner. They will position IBL within Dewey’s tenet of discovery learning, describe a pedagogical stance outlined by Parker Palmer that supports IBL, and outline multiple entry points into using IBL with students. Throughout, they will share stories of their own experiences as instructors.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Stacey MacKinnon (Associate Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of First Year Inquiry Studies at UPEI) will share her research and observations of over eight years of “The Curiosity Project” from both the professor and students’ perspectives. This will include a discussion of the a) assumptions educators make regarding students’ beliefs about inquiry and the development of First Year Inquiry Studies at UPEI, b) the importance of approaching inquiry as a learner mindset, not just a set of skills and its relation to knowledge transfer across time and content areas, and c) the challenges faced by instructors in higher education who want to inspire greater inquiry in their classrooms.

Research Presentations: A series of 20-minute research presentations focused on curiosity and inquiry in higher education rounds out the morning session. If you would like to present your research, please see the call for proposals due September 15th.

Afternoon Session

Small-group Workshops & Discussions: After lunch, there will be an assortment of 30 & 60-minute small-group workshops offered where conference participants can delve deeper into issues of interest to both practitioners and researchers of inquiry in higher education. For example:

Dr. Beth Archer Kuhn will lead a workshop entitled, Getting Started with Structured Controversy: A Springboard to Inquiry. This experiential workshop provides participants an opportunity to experience the inquiry process as the students may experience it. Based on her writing, Structured Controversy. Inquiry-Based Learning in Place of Traditional Group Presentations, Dr. Archer-Kuhn will facilitate a brief overview of inquiry-based learning and the relevance for today’s higher education classrooms. Next, participants will experience a shortened version of the structured controversy process. Finally, we will discuss the application of structured controversy to various disciplines, with next steps to supporting students in the inquiry process for your course.

Dr. Stacey MacKinnon will lead a workshop entitled Getting Creative with Inquiry: What do you do when you can’t do it the way it “should” be done?. Many of the challenges faced by educators who want to incorporate more inquiry into their classrooms are grounded in infrastructure restrictions both in terms of classroom arrangement, personnel shortages, and attitudes of colleagues/administrators. In this workshop, participants will discuss the challenges they face to practicing and researching inquiry-based learning and possible solutions to them by thinking outside the traditional university structure and dynamic. A great choice for those who are newly entering or struggling with finding ways to incorporate more inquiry into their classes and research programs.

If you are interested in leading a 30 or 60-minute workshop, please click here to go to the call for proposals information sheet *** Due September 15th***.

Research-planning Roundtable: The conference will close with a round-table discussion led by Dr. Beth Archer-Kuhn and Dr. Stacey MacKinnon addressing the need for more research into curiosity and inquiry-based learning in higher education. Conference participants will be invited to share their current areas of research interest and form preliminary communities of research to discuss collaborations. Dr. MacKinnon and Dr. Archer-Kuhn will also present their new collaborative research and practice website and discuss their plans for a second working conference to be held in over two days in October 2018 in Prince Edward Island designed to support and highlight ongoing collaborative research into curiosity and inquiry in higher education.


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Taylor Family Institute for teaching and Learning

University of Calgary

434 Collegiate Boulevard NW

Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Canada

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