Scientific Partnership for International Research on Inquiry Thinking

Meetings (Fall and Spring Semesters)

Mondays 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Barbara K. Lipman School & Research Institute
3771 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38111

faculty members

lipman director

  • Sandra Brown-Turner

teaching staff

  • Carol Cordeau Young
  • Erin King
  • Jodie Friedman
  • Harmony Swenson
  • Jan Kidder
  • Rachel Crown

doctoral students

  • Mahbubul Hasan
  • Jessica Boles
  • Jun Hoa
  • Hui Hzang
  • Laura Lee
  • Crystal White

who we are

The Scientific Partnership for International Research on Inquiry Thinking (SPIRIT) is a partnership of interdisciplinary researchers from the fields of Science, Cognitive Psychology, Child Development and Science Education and early childhood practitioners. The group is under the direction of an interdisciplinary faculty Denise Winsor, Don Franceschetti, and Sandy Brown Turner from the University of Memphis.

Research Goals

  • to develop the research agenda for the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School and Research Institute to include an International Inquiry Research Institute where research and development for teacher training, investigations into the nature of Inquiry in children, and a program to model inquiry teaching will be established.
  • to investigate the influences of school environments (populations, settings, and measures) on the development of inquiry reasoning in children and teachers.
  • to investigate the complex process of inquiry reasoning in children across diverse cultures and teachers' understanding of inquiry teaching in Diverse Cultures.
  • Present and publish current research.

current projects

Hasan, M. & Winsor, D. L. (2015, April). Exploring the epistemological foundation of think-pair-share with iPad math application in kindergarten. 27th Annual University of Memphis Graduate Student Research Forum. Memphis, TN.

actively pursing publications

Winsor, D.L. & Bendixen, L.D. (2013, August). Using focus groups to explore epistemic development in preschool children. Symposium presented at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Winsor, D.L., Kidder, J., Friedman, J., & Turner-Brown, S. (2013, August). Who am I? Parental storytelling as an interviewing technique for preschool children. Symposium presentation at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Winsor, D.L. & Bendixen, L.D. (2013, May). Exploring preschooler's personal epistemology and potential links to emotion: Using focus groups and classroom observations. Symposium Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California.

Winsor, D.L., Hao, J., & Hzang, H. (2013, March). Using mobi technology in early childhood classrooms. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Laboratory Schools, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Winsor, D.L., Hzang, H., & Hao, J. (2013, March). Who am I: Parent storytelling reveals cultural influences in early development of self. Paper presented at the annual conference for International Association of Laboratory Schools, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Audley-Piotrowski, S., Winsor, D.L., & Blake, S. (2012, April). Every moment is a teachable moment: Preschool teacher's epistemologies and social-emotional competence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia.

collaborative activities

  • Develop teacher training and teaching modules for early childhood educators with a focus on STEM
  • Develop a course based on these materials for ECE pre-service teachers
  • Develop in-service training for teachers
  • Seek competitive grant funding from National and International funding sources.