III. General Information
Understanding of Forms of Inquiry
Inquiry, the search for truth, information, knowledge and understanding, follows a methodology based upon systematic study, reflection, intuition and innate creativity. Inquiry involves resolving an identified problem, collecting relevant information, evaluating the information and observing relationships in order to reach a conclusion. The student is the active inquirer and must be able to undertake the process independently. Scientific method represents a form of inquiry concerned with hypotheses development, data collection, analyses and interpretation. Just as an understanding of scientific inquiry is necessary for the educated citizen functioning in the midst of the technologies of the contemporary world, so too an appreciation of other modes of inquiry is an essential characteristic of an educated citizen. Graduates should be familiar with the modes of inquiry utilized, for example, by historians, by philosophers and by scholars concerned with the various fields of creative expression.
As outcomes of this objective, students will understand the strengths and limitations of the various forms of inquiry, and the cultural, intellectual and historic impact of these forms. The student will be able to describe similarities and differences between the inquiry methods of the physical scientist, the biological scientist, the social scientist and the scholar of the humanities.