The way in which I construct opportunities for students to learn and develop employs a flipped classroom and requires that students be able to be in a place where I do not readily provide them with the answers. The emerging research in neuroscience illustrates the interconnectedness of emotional engagement and deep learning. Providing such an environment is often uncomfortable for students. To prepare for this uncomfortable and unknown answer learning environment, they are provided with the Integrative Inquiry curriculum (http://www.pollinate.life/promo/iniq16).
In the flipped classroom, I require that students view pre-recorded online lectures and read the work prior to coming to class. In class, I design experiential discovery opportunities where students get to collaboratively look for the "answers" informed by the online lectures, the reading materials, and their own experiences. In addition, students can come up with their own questions to explore. It is so much fun! And still, students either appreciate that experience or despise it. Doctoral students often appreciate the exploration that I literally require them to engage in, while many Masters and Undergraduate students want in-class lectures and much more in-class structure. However, once the students taste the joy of exploratory learning in a supportive environment, they really enjoy themselves and discover how what they are learning is directly applicable to real life challenges.
I continue to explore how I can hold space to support students in the ambiguity of experiential inquiry, where divergent thinking arises and all sorts of creative possibilities emerge. The Integrative Inquiry curriculum that I have designed trains students' attention, emotion, and cognitive regulation to foster students' transition into unknown learning and development opportunities. The findings of this training program have been significant; the training program is now a part of ED 815, Re-Thinking Leadership in the EdD in Community College Leadership program and ARP 610, the leadership course in the Postsecondary Educational Leadership Masters program and the interdisciplinary leadership minor introductory to leadership course for undergraduates.