How do we help learners develop the capacity to engage in mathematical, scientific, and
humanistic inquiries, such that the mastery of the tools of inquiry serve as the foundations for
research for those who wish to pursue a career in research?
There are two ways of achieving this goal. One is through coursework, and the other is through a
form of apprenticeship by working on research projects guided by a researcher-mentor-faculty
member. These are not mutually exclusive. The coursework can provide the broad basis for
mathematical, scientific and humanistic inquiries in general, while the apprenticeship can provide
the highly specialized skills needed for particular research problems. For instance, a course on
experimental inquiry can teach the young how to design and implement experiments in general,
but apprenticeshop to a faculty member working on the social behaviour of drosophila can
provide the field-specific skills of designing and implementing experiments on drosophila.
There are two strategies for incorporating inquiry into coursework, again not mutually exclusive.
One is to introduce introductory, intermediate, and advanced stand-alone courses on inquiry in an
undergraduate curriculum, devoting, say, two hours a week. That would mean creating carefully
designed syllabi, learning materials, and assessment for the course(s). The other strategy is to
incoporate elements of inquiry into subject-specific courses, again devoting a part of each course
in a program to inquiry in the given field.
In this workshop, I will outline what it takes to create stand-alone courses on inquiry in an
undergraduate curriculum, and take the participants through a range of hands on inquiry activities
that can be done without labs or specialised instruments.