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 Sally Blake, Denise
Winsor, Don Franceschetti, and Sandy Brown Turner from the University of Memphis.
Goal 1: To investigate the influences of school environments (populations, settings,
and measures) on the development of inquiry reasoning in children and teachers.
Goal 2: To investigate the complex process of inquiry reasoning in children across
diverse cultures and teachers’ understanding of inquiry teaching in Diverse Cultures.
Goal 3: 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.
- What variations in indicators of inquiry reasoning do young children exhibit when
investigating school environments that support the inquiry process?
- To what extent is Inquiry Reasoning evident in students across diverse learning environments
(populations, settings, & measures)?
- What variations indicators of inquiry teaching and environments do teachers of young
children exhibit that support the inquiry process (populations, settings, & measures)?
- How do educational professionals across science and education disciplines believe
Inquiry should be used when teaching science?
- What levels and forms of Inquiry teaching are evident in diverse educational programs?
- Develop teacher training and teaching modules for early childhood educators with a
focus on science,
- Develop a course based on these materials for ECE pre-service teachers,
- Develop in-service training for teachers,
- Revise national science expectations and evaluation for pre-school programs, and to
- Seek competitive grant funding from National and International funding sources.
Interested students may contact:
Dr. Sally Blake: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Denise Winsor: email@example.com