Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 245–256

Inquiry-Based Learning and Undergraduates’ Professional Identity Development: Assessment of a Field Research-Based Course


DOI: 10.1007/s10755-009-9109-0

Cite this article as:
Gilardi, S. & Lozza, E. Innov High Educ (2009) 34: 245. doi:10.1007/s10755-009-9109-0


Innovative strategies in inquiry-based learning are recognized as improving the quality of higher education learning, but there is a need to explore whether and how these strategies promote the development of professional identity among undergraduates. In this article we describe an inquiry-based course, situated in a European context, which is designed to support students’ professional identity development through reflective practice; and we present the assessment of students’ learning outcomes. Results highlight the key roles of field research, peer groups, and a narrative approach in promoting positive student attitudes toward reflecting on their production of knowledge and in developing their professional identity.

Key words

inquiry-based learningreflexivityprofessional identity developmentprofessional practice

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Labour and Welfare StudiesUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of MilanMilanItaly