In search of a personal pedagogy: A Self-Study narrative on the use of Inquiry Based Learning by an early career lecturer

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Alexandra Louise Sewell


This paper presents a Self-Study of my quest for a personal pedagogy as a HE lecturer in my first year of teaching. I experimented with the application of Inquiry Based Learning as a teaching method of active learning pedagogy. The influence of the experiences of choice and implementation of Inquiry Based Learning on the development of my academic identity are explored. The paper is theoretically grounded in accounts of academic identity formation put forth by Jenkins (1996), Danielewicz and Yem (2014) and King et al. (2014). Themes of identity, arising from experiences of pedagogical choice and teaching practice, were a need for conformity versus a desire for individualism, theoretical knowledge and paradigm adherence, pragmatic constraints and student – lecturer relationship and confidence. These themes are discussed in relation to existing Inquiry Based Learning research literature. With the publication of the first Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) published in 2017, the paper makes a timely addition to the discourse of new lecturer’s experiences and the often-challenging process of initial academic identity formation. It also offers research into the effects of Inquiry Based Learning for the lecturer, whereas the outcomes for students have been mostly examined by previous literature.   

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