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Cultivating Inquiry Driven Learners: A College Education for the 21st Century

AAC&U National Conference, January 23, 2013
by

Laura Dunek

on 29 September 2016

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Transcript of Cultivating Inquiry Driven Learners: A College Education for the 21st Century

Inquiry-Driven Learners:
A College Education for
the 21st Century Inquiry-Driven Learners http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10267 Our global society demands the following from higher education:
(1)Development of human capital.
(2) Applied technology transfer into the global marketplace. 21st Century Context The fundamental purpose we advance places becoming a learner as the endpoint of a college education.

This purpose stands in stark contrast to historical definitions of a college-educated person, which place primary emphasis on becoming learned as the end in itself— that is, someone who has acquired a requisite body of knowledge and skills. Dialogue What ought to be the unifying purpose of a college education for the 21st Century?

How do we effectively prepare students for a global society and knowledge economy in which change is the only constant? "The underlying physics of power in the world has changed and changed dramatically, and our old ways of thinking about these things, the ways that worked for hundreds of years, now no longer serve us well. They don’t predict or explain what is going on, in many cases, and sometimes, when we use them, they actually backfire…We’re in trouble, not because we ignored what the experts told us, but because we did exactly what they said." Joshua Cooper Ramo, Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It (2009). 21st Century Context Inquiry-Driven Learning A FIG is a “learning community” of about 20 students with similar interests who are enrolled in a cluster of classes together. The courses in a FIG are sourced from different academic disciplines but are linked by a common theme. The faculty member teaching the main seminar course of the FIG helps students discover the interdisciplinary connections between and among the classes. Inquiry-Driven Learning:
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Future success lies in building up a knowledge-driven economy. Other countries are all too aware of this and are investing in higher education.

Universities are powerhouses of growth, producing graduates and research that help us compete on the global stage. It is clear we should create more highly skilled individuals, not fewer. Knowledge Economy http://figs.wisc.edu/ Inquiry-Driven Learners Core Qualities of Mind
Divergent Modes of Thinking
Critical Thinking Skills
Communication Skills http://www.wpi.edu/academics/projects.html Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen. Horace Mann Guiding Principle
Change is not only constant, but also mercurial in speed and powerful enough to destabilize institutions, regions, nations, governments, and societies on a global scale. 21st Century Context 2008 global banking crisis and recession
Ongoing crises in the European Union
Arab Spring of 2012
The global "war on terror," which spawned two land wars, and catalyzed new forms of warfare such as drone strikes
Within our sector, the firing, faculty protests, and rehiring, of University of Virginia President, Teresa Sullivan 21st Century Context Great Problems Seminars
Humanities & Arts Requirement
Global Perspective Program
Two Qualifying Projects:
INTERACTIVE QUALIFYING
MAJOR QUALIFYING Core Qualities of Mind Divergent Modes of Inquiry Explore Ideas with Enthusiasm
Embrace Ownership in the Pursuit of Ideas
Meet Challenges with Resilience
Engage in Spirited Dialogue and Collaboration
Question Self, Extant Knowledge, and Authority
Commit to Inquiry on Behalf of Self, Society
and Humanity
Contemplate Apply Divergent Approaches to
Problem-Solving

Pursue Inquiry as a Dynamic and
Recursive Critical Thinking Skills •Frame Burning Questions
•Access, Comprehend, and Dialogue
with Extant Knowledge
•Analyze, Synthesize, and Interpret
Knowledge and Information
Exercise Decision-making Skills Effective Communication

(1) Clifton Forbes Conrad,
Vilas Distinguished Professor &
Higher Education Professor
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
School of Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison
conrad@education.wisc.edu, 608-263-3411

(2) Laura A. Dunek, J.D.
Doctoral Candidate
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Education
ladunek@wisc.edu, 608-698-8555 •Transform Ideas into Language

• Communicate Ideas through
Writing and Speaking Contact Information Definition We define an inquiry-driven learner as a person who has the capability to explore and cultivate promising ideas.

Ideas that will enable them to successfully navigate constant change and capitalize on career opportunities, enrich their personal lives, and thoughtfully engage in public life. Definition
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