UPEI faculty member co-authors new book

| Academics
Dr. Stacey MacKinnon
Dr. Stacey MacKinnon

Dr. Stacey MacKinnon, associate professor of psychology at UPEI, and co-author Dr. Beth Archer-Kuhn, associate professor of social work, University of Calgary, have published a new book, Reigniting Curiosity and Inquiry in Higher Education: A Realist’s Guide to Getting Started.

The book offers higher education instructors, at any career stage and in any discipline, a realistic guide to incorporating curiosity and inquiry-based learning (IBL) into their classrooms to promote long term knowledge creation and retention and life-wide learning. It is based on the authors’ research and classroom experiences, such as “The Curiosity Project” at UPEI and Archer-Kuhn’s group studies at the University of Calgary.

IBL is a flexible teaching and learning approach that can be progressively adopted and developed without a specific formula, and that positions students as co-constructors of knowledge rather than passive recipients. It is student-driven, creates engagement, develops a curiosity mindset, promotes group learning that is collaborative rather than competitive, fosters metacognition, and builds confidence as students learn to deal with ambiguity and risk.

IBL is being increasingly adopted across the English-speaking world. Beyond its capacity to promote independent learning, it offers a perfect foundation for preparing students for signature work and capstone courses, and it is adaptable to small and large classes.

The book began with a SSHRC Connection Grant, which funded working conferences on curiosity and inquiry at UPEI and at the University of Calgary. It can be purchased from Stylus Publishing.

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