Botanic gardens represent a significant educational resource often acting as major providers of a diverse range of formal and informal education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. INQUIRE was a three-year project focusing on inquiry-based science education (IBSE) that involved 17 partners in 11 European countries that aimed to reinvigorate IBSE in the formal and Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) educational contexts in Europe. This chapter presents a case study of successful practices for embedding inquiry-based teaching and learning in botanic gardens. IBSE training courses were developed, piloted, and run. The study based on a qualitative evaluation strategy centers on the examination of the INQUIRE partners’ design, implementation and delivery of their IBSE teacher/educator training courses. The findings show that the courses had a positive impact on the participants who learned both theoretical and practical aspects of implementing IBSE in school and LOtC contexts (www.inquirebotany.org) and strong indications of good quality course provision across the project. A greater appreciation of botanic gardens as a learning resource was also noted. The project resulted in significant professional development outcomes and the key factors for success are discussed here. Consequently, this chapter presents evidence from IBSE in action in botany-related topics and provides a strong case for IBSE in botanic gardens.
Regan, E., Vergou, A., Kapelari, S., Willison, J., Dillon, J., Bromley, G. and Bonomi, C. (2014), "Strategies for Embedding Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Botanic Gardens: Evidence from the Inquire Project", 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. 175-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120140000001010
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