Interactions within a philosophical community of inquiry: Can they transform pedagogy and what do teachers learn in the process?

Year: 2008

Author: Scholl, Rosie, Nichols, Kim, Burgh, Gilbert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Inquiry-based learning responds to an improved understanding of dialogical learning processes using thought and language (Freire, 1970; Bohm, 1996; Dewey, 1933; Vygotsky, 1978). Such approaches require active interaction and reflection of both teacher and student. Though these theories of learning for educational reform have been integrated into professional learning for teachers, and included in educational goals (MCEETYA, 1999) there remains a gap in practice. The qualitative methodology of this retrospective interview study allowed teachers to describe thoughts, feelings and experiences resulting from work with students in Philosophical communities of inquiry (Lipman, Sharp, & Oscanyan, 1980), and consequences for pedagogy. Results reveal evidence for the efficacy of the Philosophy program, in terms of its impact on pedagogy. Contributions to the literature and the fields of professional and personal development for teachers are conveyed.