Does Inquiry-Based Learning Provide an Approach for Employing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in a Primary School Classroom?
Inquiry-based learning could be viewed as a form of culturally relevant pedagogy as they both promote student success regardless of student culture. The aim of this research is to explore whether inquiry-based learning is an approach for employing culturally relevant pedagogy in a New Zealand primary classroom setting. This is a qualitative exploratory case study examining students’ perceptions of learning through an inquiry-based approach. Focus group discussions were conducted to collect data from a group of students’ aged 9, 10 and 11 years from one New Zealand primary school. Data was analysed using a thematic approach that identified findings to be linked to four themes. Four themes of culture, authentic learning, relationships and teaching strategies were used throughout the study as they are deemed important components of inquiry-based learning and culturally relevant pedagogy. On analysis of the findings it is evident that there are links between inquiry-based learning and culturally relevant pedagogy. The results highlighted students’ perception of the importance of having a sense of belonging with a culture, the impact of authenticity of learning, the quality of relationships between teacher and student and the positive impact of providing a range of effective teaching strategies.