Watch for our upcoming book!

In conjunction with Stylus Publishing, we are in the process of writing our first book, “Reigniting Curiosity and Inquiry in Higher Education: A Realist’s Guide to Getting Started with IBL”.

The purpose of this book is to give higher education instructors at any career stage a realistic guide to incorporating curiosity and inquiry-based learning into their classrooms, not only as a pedagogical tool, but also as a mindset, attitude, or “desire to inquiry” that can be developed and strengthened, resulting in greater lifelong and lifewide learning.

We will update our progress over the next few months!

New Publication!

Check out our latest work on trust in higher education:

Natalie R. Beltrano, Beth Archer-Kuhn & Stacey MacKinnon (2021) Mining for
gold and finding only nuggets: attempting a rapid systematic review, on trust in higher education IBL classrooms, Teachers and Teaching, 27:1-4, 300-315, DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2021.1955672


It is well-documented throughout the available literature that trust,
or a leap of faith, plays a key role in facilitating success in student
learning. In this study, we attempted a rapid systematic review of
relevant databases looking for studies that addressed developing
and maintaining trust among students, between students and their
professors, within higher education institutions, paying particular
attention to inquiry-based learning practices where taking intellectual
risks is key. Our efforts revealed that there are currently no
empirical studies that link risk and trust in early engagement in
higher education IBL (i.e., IBL-HE) classrooms. Though the ‘gold
mine’ remained out of reach, our secondary review uncovered
several important nuggets which confirmed our belief that this is
an important area of future inquiry and allowed us to identify
barriers to trust and note student fears. Further research is required
to examine the factors that promote risk-taking and trust development
and the relationship with early engagement in IBL-HE

Publication Alert!

Our research on developing and maintaining trust in inquiry-based learning is continuing and we are proud to announce the first publication stemming from those focus groups and interviews!

Archer-Kuhn, B. & MacKinnon, S.L. (2020). Developing Trust in Students, Professors and the Process within Short-term Higher Education Inquiry-based Learning Environments. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 8(9), 1-14. DOI:10.11114/jets.v8i9.4929

This qualitative constructivist grounded theory study of trust within inquiry-based learning in higher education (IBL-HE) environments examined the experiences of instructors and students through four focus groups and nine individual interviews. As the study purpose is to understand the development and maintenance of trust in IBL-HE classrooms, participants are experienced instructors, learners, and authors of IBL-HE from Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Ireland. We used face-to-face sessions and zoom sessions to facilitate the focus group experience, and telephone for the individual interviews to explore the following two research questions: (1) what does trust mean in a higher education IBL (IBL-HE) classroom; and, (2) how do those involved create and maintain it? Our findings are revealed through our Pedagogy of Trust in IBL-HE using 3 themes: (1) Creating an environment of negotiated mutuality; (2) Emerging relationship/community building; and, (3) Internalizing and applying a mindset shift. Each of these stages involved a different trust relationship: (1) Professor-Student; (2) Student-Student; and, (3) Student-Self. These findings provide evidence for IBL as a pedagogy of trust in higher education, and reinforce the need for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), and the lifelong learning skills desired by contemporary employers.

Doing the Work of Reigniting Curiosity & Inquiry in Higher Education

We brought together professors, researchers and students from Canada and the US to work on findings ways to encourage the growth of curiosity and inquiry attitudes and skills in our higher education classrooms.  Here’s what they had to say about the importance of developing this community of practice and research:

Video: Doing the Work of Reigniting Curiosity & Inquiry in Higher Education