When I took on this documented Inquiry Learning journey, I was keen to subtlely acknowledge Neurodiversity in the process. Throughout this series of blog posts, I have strived to incorporate elements to help all readers, and especially those neurodiverse readers who may better absorb concepts through visual elements, for example tree diagrams, blocking out irrelevant information and other schematics. I have visually mapped the journey at every stage using Inquiry Learning milestones as described by Audet and Johnson (2008) and Kuhlthau (2004) as device for readers and myself to wayfind through the Inquiry Learning process. Although I chose a critiquing mindset of Inquiry Learning, through a constant iterative reflection exercise, I was quite surprised how closely my journey aligned with these two models at each stage of the process, with the only variation being some overlap of feelings and thoughts across consecutive phases. Please refer to “Mapping the Journey” sections at the bottom of each post in this blog series.
Adding all of these visual elements greatly added to the workload and is possibly outside the initial brief of my post-graduate assessment. However, you can’t stand on your soapbox preaching neurodiverse learner rights and then not try to cater to them in your own material! The extra workload reflects how much extra effort is needed to incorporate neurodiverse learners into a mainstream pedagogy. I took on the extra work as a personal exercise. If educators sense they have to add more work to an already overloaded schedule I can understand how incorporating elements to support neurodiversity could become a burdensome undertaking, and easily fall by the wayside.
While I did not find a substantial body of research to categorically answer my research questions, I do believe I probed enough to spark a dialogue amongst those educators who either already embrace Inquiry Learning or at least are considering it. Thank you for coming on this journey with me.
Mapping the Journey
Audet, R. and L. Jordan (2008) Integrating inquiry across the curriculum. Heatherton, VIC: Hawker Brownlow. p. 14
Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004) Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services, 2nd edition, Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT.
Feature Image: Sudakov, M. (Photographer). (no date). Beautiful autumn in the forest. Reflection of pines in an open bog and ripples in the water [photograph]. Retrieved 1 September 2016 from www.shutterstock.com