From Inquiry To Discovery:
Developing The Student As Scholar
In A Networked World
David Hodge, Miami University
Carolyn Haynes, Miami University
Paul LePore, University of Washington
Kira Pasquesi, Colorado College
Marissa Hirsh, Miami University
Learning Through Enquiry Alliance (LTEA)
“Inquiry in a Networked World”
Wednesday 25th – Friday 27th June 2008
University of Sheffield
In this paper we argue that technological advances have made research-based learning possible now in ways that were unimaginable in previous generations. Such learning can, and should, be at the center of the total undergraduate experience and across most institutions of higher education. We combine research-based learning with student development theory to offer a more comprehensive model for effectively organizing undergraduate education. Our aim is not simply to advance undergraduate research and creativity, but more importantly, to cultivate the “Student as Scholar,” where scholar is broadly conceived as an attitude, an intellectual posture, and a frame of mind derived from the best traditions of an engaged liberal education. Although some students will produce original scholarship in their discipline or field, what is more crucial is that they gain the internal value system, maturity, and foundational competencies of their discipline and a liberal education to succeed in today’s complex, ever-changing world.
Developing the Student as Scholar Model requires a fundamental shift in how we structure and imagine the whole undergraduate experience. Not only does it transcend the boundaries of the traditional classroom by leveraging the vast amounts of raw material now available to undergraduates, but it also requires a culture of inquiry-based learning infused throughout the entire liberal arts curricular and co-curricular experience that starts with the very first day of college and is reinforced in every classroom and program. Put another way, the Student as Scholar Model represents the far end of the educational spectrum, specifically progressing from an instructional paradigm that emphasizes telling students what they need to know, to a learning paradigm that emphasizes inquiry in shaping how students learn what they need to know within the traditional academic context, and culminating in a discovery paradigm that encourages students to seek and discover new knowledge, emphasizing inquiry with no boundaries.
At its core, this is a vision of undergraduate education that offers students sustained and consistent emphasis on their identity as learners and as scholars, gradually blurring the distinction between the two; and it provides opportunities to develop meaningful connections to faculty, staff, and other students in campus environments that establish and support vibrant learning communities. Yet, sustaining this emphasis on students as scholars and meaningful connections among faculty and students, we must understand the way that students develop and design our learning environments to assist their movement from a more passive, externally motivated learner to the active, internally-motivated posture of a scholar.
In this paper we first examine how the changing context of technology and scholarship makes the Discovery Paradigm possible now and increasingly so in the future. We then define the Student as Scholar Model and position it in the context of a liberal education, describing how the model creates a natural and highly effective focus for a liberal education framework. We conclude by exploring how an understanding of student development can purposefully guide curricular and co-curricular activities to build student capability progressively throughout the college years and offer concrete examples of practice.
PDF / [http://tinyurl.com/5v98wl]
Video and Powerpoint / [http://tinyurl.com/6kv2hu]
Learning Through Enquiry Alliance (LTEA) Conference 2008