Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Farber

Second Advisor

Dr. Dini Metro-Roland

Third Advisor

Dr. Brandy Pleasants


History of inquiry, inquiry-based learning, inquiry-based teaching, philosophy of inquiry, post-truth

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Truth is under attack across the world. This can be seen in the lies spread by Putin to justify his invasion of Ukraine to the misinformation spread about combatting the COVID-19 virus. The authoritative and trusted nature of science is being undermined by unfounded beliefs and opinion. Many Americans lack an understanding of how science is done nor have basic knowledge about common scientific information. What is needed is to increase the level of scientific literacy in the United States. Inquiry-based teaching and learning has been touted as a way for developing more scientifically literate citizens, because inquiry-based teaching and learning targets some of the traits necessary for survival in today’s everchanging digital world: critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, communication, and collaboration skills. This paper aims to (1) review the early philosophy of inquiry as a concept and describe how it developed into a general educational teaching and learning method by exploring the history of inquiry-based teaching and learning in general and in science education in the United States; (2) discuss the success and/or failure of implementing the inquiry methodologies into the science classroom; and, (3) explore how inquiry can be an important tool in the future of education, specifically in relation to educating a more scientifically literate society in the future.