Date of Award

Summer 1997

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Betsy Ann Balzano

Second Advisor

Linda Schloner

Third Advisor

Patricia Baker


Many schools are adopting teaching by inquiry as part of the school vision. However, a universal definition of inquiry as a teaching method has yet to be accepted. This study examines teachers’ perceptions of teaching by inquiry in one school whose mission is to promote teaching by inquiry. All teachers in the school were asked to complete an anonymous survey containing twelve questions related to their teaching experience and perceptions of inquiry. The administration of the school was also interviewed on their perceptions of inquiry. Responses were collected and analyzed for similarities and differences. The author found a wide array of perceptions, which they collected into twelve aspects. The most dominant understanding involved students forming their own questions on the materials which they have been taught and being generally active in their learning experience. All respondents used inquiry in the classroom, though the time spent using it varied widely. The author encourages schools to adopt and accept the myriad understandings of inquiry and to allow teachers to approach the method in their own way.