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Redesigning a curriculum for inquiry: an ecology case study

R. A. Spronken-Smith, R. Walker, K. J. M. Dickinson, G. P. Closs, J. M. Lord and T. Harland
Instructional Science
Vol. 39, No. 5 (September 2011), pp. 721-735
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23882827
Page Count: 15
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Redesigning a curriculum for inquiry: an ecology case study
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Abstract

This article reports on an interdisciplinary ecology degree that was redesigned to provide more research activity for undergraduates. A case study approach explored how the teaching team constructed a curriculum that used inquiry activities. The development of an inquiry curriculum was enabled by a University audit focusing on the links between teaching and research, a Programme Review that signalled a need for change, and a Programme Director and group of academics committed to change. In addition, curriculum planning discussions were facilitated by an academic staff developer, who developed a shared vision for an inquiry approach during extended conversations amongst the planning group. Consequently, the new programme progressively develops inquiry skills in four out of five core courses (papers/modules). At stages 1 and 2, structured, guided and open inquiry activities lead to an open inquiry capstone course at stage 3.

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