Promoting Equity Through Inquiry-based Instruction


  • Cory Callahan The University of Alabama


equity, inquiry-based instruction, professional development


In this brief advocacy article the author discusses common characteristics of strong, equitable systems of schooling from around the world. Citing contemporary research from the European Journal of Teacher Education, the Official Journal of the European Union, and the European Commission’s report on Equity in School Education in Europe, he will explore findings from Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia, which despite very different historical and social contexts, tend to demonstrate common characteristics for equitable schooling. While each characteristic deserves its own presentation, this article will center around a characteristic arguably within the most direct influence of teachers and teacher educators: developing and supporting well-prepared teachers. The author advocates for preparing teachers to design and implement inquiry-based instruction; the pedagogical approach that research suggests develops the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind needed for an empowering educational experience. The article encourages teachers in each subject area to consider designing and implementing problem-based curriculum materials and classroom events to help all students develop their capacity to think critically and subsequently help students take control of their learning and their futures. The article concludes with a discussion of ways to meet challenges that teachers face when designing and implementing inquiry-based instruction.