Consideration of some of the assumptions we make about teachers and teaching, students, learning, and the interactions among these.

  1. Introductions/course goals
  2. Syllabus/expectations
  3. Choosing a class inquiry | Journal of Education for Library and Information Science special issue
  4. What is inquiry-based learning?
  5. Assumptions about learning
  6. Discussion of the readings



Bohannon, Laura (1971). Shakespeare in the bush. In James P. Spradley and David W. McCurdy, eds., Conformity and conflict: Readings in cultural anthropology . Boston: Little Brown and Company.

Bruce, B. C., & Bishop, A. P. (2002, May). Using the web to support inquiry-based literacy development. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(8), 706-714.

Dewey, John (1912). The child and the curriculum.

[in class] Easley, J. (1987). A teacher educator’s perspective on students’ and teachers’ schemes. In D. Perkins, J. Lochhead, & J. Bishop (Eds.), Thinking: The second international conference (pp. 507-527). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Short, K. et al. (1996). Does Inquiry Make a Difference? Examining Our Beliefs About Curriculum In Learning together through inquiry: From Columbus to integrated curriculum. Stenhouse.


About Learning: Theories on How People Learn. Examines 12 different theories on how people learn, including Constructivism, Behaviorism, Piaget’s Developmental Theory, Neuroscience, Brain-Based Learning, Learning styles, Multiple Intelligences, Right and Left Brain Thinking, Communities of Practice, Control Theory, Observational Learning, Vygotsky and Social Cognition, and Problem Based Learning.

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School Recent research provides a deep understanding of complex reasoning and performance on problem-solving tasks and how skill and understanding in key subjects are acquired.

Zajda, Joseph (Ed.) Learning and teaching. ISBN 1-875-40808-8 Explores major and current themes in the learning/teaching process – from an international and comparative perspective. The authors debate such issues as learning and cognitive processes, students in the classroom and teaching styles. Their views are based on either the findings of original research or observation as experienced teacher educators. Topics covered include learning enhancement, reflection in education, cognition, excellence in education, special schools, classroom interaction, discrimination, assessment and what makes a “good” teacher.


Consider each of the eight assumptions in the Easley article, working in small groups. Which of these are true, sometimes true? What factors might cause you to question any of them?

  1. Teachers should regularly lead class discussions, presenting clear explanations and examples of basic concepts and/or asking questions so that students can piece together the principles desired.
  2. All teachers need to master their subjects, as a prior condition to trying to teach them.
  3. Teachers can and should transmit their knowledge to pupils.
  4. Teachers should, at first, present simple and easy problems and tasks, in order to build pupils’ courage to tackle more difficult and unfamiliar tasks.
  5. Teachers should give equal attention to all pupils.
  6. Teachers should give quick feedback on pupils’ work, indicating clearly what is wrong and why.
  7. Children should focus first on content and second on means of expression.
  8. Children should strive to understand their teachers and the textbooks.

Easley, J. (1987). A teacher educator’s perspective on students’ and teachers’ schemes. In D. Perkins, J. Lochhead, & J. Bishop (Eds.), Thinking: The second international conference (pp. 507-527). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.