In England there are very strong pressures in schools to meet government targets for public examination results. Thus assessment is very ‘high stakes’ as principals and class teachers can lose their jobs if these targets aren’t met. In such a climate many teachers feel that innovation, such as inquiry-based learning involves taking a considerable risk. As a result teachers in England often enact a hybridised form of inquiry in order to manage the risk and this chapter explores three cases of schools in north east England in which hybridisation has occurred. We use Basil Bernstein’s concept of ‘framing’ to analyse the effect of inquiry-based learning on the relationship between the curriculum, teachers and students in these schools. Inquiry, acts as a disruption to the normal ‘convergent’ pedagogy with many positive outcomes for teachers and students but both feel the constraint of the demands of the examination system. Although the agency, or capacity for action, of teachers is increased through exploring inquiry approaches, we conclude that for inquiry to develop further there is a need for a stronger local ‘ecology’ to support teachers and schools in their efforts to innovate. We describe the contribution of Newcastle University to such an ecology.
Leat, D., Thomas, U. and Reid, A. (2014), "Reframing Relationships Between Teachers, Students and Curriculum – The Phenomenon of ‘Hybridisation’ in IBL", Inquiry-based Learning for Faculty and Institutional Development: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 101-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120140000001007
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