Redesigning a curriculum for inquiry: an ecology case study
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This article reports on an interdisciplinary ecology degree that was redesigned to provide more research activity for undergraduates. A case study approach explored how the teaching team constructed a curriculum that used inquiry activities. The development of an inquiry curriculum was enabled by a University audit focusing on the links between teaching and research, a Programme Review that signalled a need for change, and a Programme Director and group of academics committed to change. In addition, curriculum planning discussions were facilitated by an academic staff developer, who developed a shared vision for an inquiry approach during extended conversations amongst the planning group. Consequently, the new programme progressively develops inquiry skills in four out of five core courses (papers/modules). At stages 1 and 2, structured, guided and open inquiry activities lead to an open inquiry capstone course at stage 3.
KeywordsCurriculum change Ecology Inquiry-based learning Undergraduate research
This research was funded by a New Zealand Ministry of Education ‘Teaching Matters Forum’ grant under contract 3651-005/5.
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