Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 245–256 | Cite as

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

  • Silvia Gilardi
  • Edoardo Lozza


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 learning reflexivity professional identity development professional practice 


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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

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