Inquiry-Based Chemistry Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 722

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
1. Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
2. Chemistry Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
Interests: inquiry-based instruction; STEM education; faculty and teaching assistant pedagogical development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In higher education, chemistry courses have traditionally been viewed by instructors and students alike as ‘weed out’ or ‘gateway’ courses that have high failure rates, particularly for students with identities that have been historically marginalized or excluded from higher education. In the past twenty years, researchers and professional organizations have called for undergraduate chemistry course reform to integrate authentic, active, evidence-based practices that support all students in being successful.

One such reform-based pedagogical approach, and the focus of this Special Issue, is inquiry-based instruction, defined broadly as a pedagogical approach where students engage in analyzing evidence to answer a question, either individually or collaboratively, with varying levels of scaffolding from the instructor.

Research over the last 50 years demonstrates the benefits of inquiry-based instruction, yet more recent research suggests that lecture and cookbook labs still predominate the chemistry curriculum. Other recent research demonstrates that even when courses use inquiry-based instruction, inequities in student performance still exist.

Thus, the focus of this Special Issue is on equitable inquiry-based instruction seeking to better understanding what about inquiry-based instruction works and for whom. Original research articles (quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods), theoretical/conceptual articles, and systematic reviews are welcome to this issue. Potential themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategies for the adoption of inquiry-based instruction.
  • The integration of principles of equitable/inclusive inquiry-based strategies.
  • The role of instructors/teaching assistants in inquiry-based courses/labs.
  • Counternarratives on student experiences in inquiry-based courses.
  • Characteristics of inquiry-based instruction that benefits all.

Articles that use novel methodologies, integrate theory with research, and emphasize the importance of equity in inquiry-based instruction are particularly welcome. 

Dr. Lindsay B. Wheeler
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • inquiry-based
  • chemistry
  • undergraduate
  • equity

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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