Learn through Inquiry at Clark University

Throughout their Clark experience, students learn by actively working through real problems, issues and questions, mastering modes of inquiry, and acquiring the knowledge base required to ask and to answer important questions. Each student has an opportunity to participate in a culminating discipline-based experience in the context of senior seminars, research, or other capstone experiences.

What do we mean by inquiry-guided learning?

Inquiry-guided learning refers to a variety of strategies used to enhance student learning. Lee (2004, p. 5) defines inquiry-guided learning as "students' active, and increasingly independent, investigation of questions, problems and issues, often for which there is no single answer." Many have viewed inquiry-guided learning as being the same as active learning, hands-on learning, or experiential learning. Inquiry-guided learning is broader in that it includes a range of learning strategies including but not limited to interactive lectures, problem-based learning, discussion based seminars, and independent study. A central feature of inquiry-guided learning is the idea that over time students will master modes of general questioning and inquiry that are more characteristic of the disciplines that they are studying.

At Clark University, focus on inquiry emphasizes the importance of helping students identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments so that they can ultimately be best prepared to ask meaningful questions and find exciting solutions. A second important goal is to ensure that students have the communicative skills to convey their questions and ideas to others in both oral and written form. A further hallmark of the way inquiry-guided learning is approached at Clark is the emphasis on a developmental model which encourages students to take on increasing responsibility for their own education over time.