Latest Publication!

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


2018 Reigniting Curiosity & Inquiry in Higher Education Working Conference

We had such a great time at UPEI in November working together toward reigniting curiosity and inquiry in higher education! Four research projects, a student handbook/website, an outline of an edited book for professors and plans for our next gathering all came out of the three intense days we spent together. One research project is currently collecting data, one is about to enter the ethics process and two more are making their way through planning stages.  Good things are happening!

VIDEO: Why are we here and what are we working on?

Curiosity is developing in PEI

What an amazing day! Week Two of the Curiosity Project in PSYC 2420 Social Psychology is drawing to a close and we seem to have quite a positive experience happening! A group today asked me if we could do something at the end of semester Fair that would allow them to try and figure out potential links between the 60 very disparate projects on display! They are already spontaneously thinking “big picture” which has never happened this early (and sometimes not at all)! Of course I said yes so I’m open to suggestions on ways to make that happen!

On that note, the Curiosity Project Fair is now scheduled for Monday, December 3rd from 9am-12pm in MacMillian Hall in the UPEI Student Union. If any of you are able to come the students and I would love to have you attend and view/participate in the projects (usually lots of baked good to sample too).

If you’re interested in learning more about the Curiosity Project and others like it, please join us at “Reigniting Curiosity & Inquiry in Higher Education: A Working Conference” November 2-4th, 2018 in Charlottetown, PE. Only $75 + tax for professors/researchers and $25 + tax for graduate students. More information is available in the tab above.

Register at