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Abstract

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is a student-centered approach driven by students’ questions and their innate curiosity. IBL was introduced and effectively implemented in the general secondary teaching methods course at the American University in Dubai. The study made use of a mixed methods approach. It was guided by two research questions: 1). What factors hinder the implementation of IBL in the student teachers’ classrooms? 2). Why do student teachers favor the use of IBL in their classroom? Eight student teachers enrolled in the general secondary teaching methodology course at the American University in Dubai (Fall 2017) participated in the study. First, they completed a survey to gain insight into the challenges and difficulties student teachers face in the implementation of IBL in their classroom. In order to build on the results from the quantitative phase, the student teachers were next involved in a qualitative data collection phase, where they had to answer the question: What makes you want to implement IBL in your own classroom? Results revealed that student teachers considered ‘school system’ as a factor that hinders the implementation of IBL in their classroom. In addition, data collected from the open-ended question were categorized into two main themes: IBL creates a culture of deep and transferable learning and strengthens student engagement and IBL allows for differentiation and empowers student voice and choice. To make the most of this innovative student-centered approach, IBL needs to be highly valued at all academic levels starting from early stages and across all disciplines. It is essential that IBL becomes embedded in daily school curricula to ensure an interactive learning journey that calls out for student questioning, deep learning, and engaged, motivated learners.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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