Document Type

Honors Thesis


Learning is a large component of everyday life, with most occurring in an educational setting. As students navigate the school system year after year, existing educational gaps increase. This study observed inquiry learning techniques in the classroom to assist students in making connections with new and previous knowledge while helping students understand the new material they are learning. Students across multiple classes in the same grade and school were taught their regularly scheduled lesson plan, but it was designed as an inquiry lesson plan. The students then wrote down what they observed/ learned and any connections they made. Those journal entries were graded on a rubric with a five-point Likert scale, where a scale of one showed work was below grade level and five showed work was on grade level. The results of this study revealed using inquiry-based lessons in the classroom helped most students comprehend new information at grade level, effectively closing educational gaps. Additionally, this research identified that inquiry learning strategies do not just create equity in the classroom but allowed some students on the autism spectrum to help their peers grasp presented concepts better and above grade level, further helping close existing educational gaps in the classroom.

Publication Date




Faculty Mentor of Honors Project

LeeAnn Snell-Burke



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