Faculty Publications


Science education and culture: Inquiry-based learning

Document Type



Communication, Culture, Inquiry, Learning, Science Education

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Intercultural Communication




At a time when inquiry-based science education is finding increased acceptance, US classrooms are exhibiting a significant increase in diversity. This necessitates attention to the compatibility between the culture of inquiry teaching and the broad range of cultures that form students' backgrounds. Although some research has considered students' cultural backgrounds and the roles these might play in the effectiveness of an inquiry approach, none has focused on the specific characteristics of an inquiry approach that might constitute cultural "biases" for a broad range of students with a concomitant broad range of cultural values and beliefs. This article seeks to identify characteristics of an inquiry approach, compare these to the potential cultures students may bring with them to the classroom, using cultural orientations as a heuristic, and suggest construals of inquiry that could better address the needs of a greater number of learners.

Original Publication Date


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