Abstract / Synopsis

In this paper, I discuss what appears to be a new perspective on inquiry based learning (IBL) by describing its parallels with parenting. IBL is a student-centered learning method involving collaborative work on carefully sequenced exercises, oral and written communication of solutions, and peer review. Students create their own knowledge and present their ideas, and the instructor acts as a facilitator. The parallels between IBL and parenting include a growth mindset, emphasizing process over outcome, learning from mistakes, learning how to get unstuck, and deconstructing tasks. IBL and parenting also involve similar social interactions, such as responding to difficult questions in the moment, being sensitive to body language, and active listening. I also discuss how both activities differ. By comparing IBL and parenting, instructors can understand both better; this can in turn make IBL seem like a natural type of instruction. Additionally, I describe opportunities for learning IBL that are particularly feasible for parents.



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