Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 15, Issue 5–6, pp 321–330 | Cite as

Inquiry-based Learning and Digital Libraries in Undergraduate Science Education



The purpose of this paper is twofold: to describe robust rationales for integrating inquiry-based learning into undergraduate science education, and to propose that digital libraries are potentially powerful technological tools that can support inquiry-based learning goals in undergraduate science courses. Overviews of constructivism and situated cognition are provided with regard to how these two theoretical perspectives have influenced current science education reform movements, especially those that involve inquiry-based learning. The role that digital libraries can play in inquiry-based learning environments is discussed. Finally, the importance of alignment among critical pedagogical dimensions of an inquiry-based pedagogical framework is stressed in the paper, and an example of how this can be done is presented using earth science education as a context.


digital libraries inquiry-based learning post-secondary science education 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0304895. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Learning Research & Development CenterUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Psychology & Instructional TechnologyThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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