Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Donna A. Breault, Ph.D. - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Deron Boyles, Ph.D. - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Jennifer Esposito, Ph.D. - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Richard Lakes, Ph.D. - Committee Member


Research in the field of school curriculum and national organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics support the use of inquiry-based curriculum in schools. However, due to the policy constraints of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), inquiry-based curriculum is not common in schools. Within these policy constraints, school principals often turn to reform models to increase student achievement on high-stakes assessments. One particular reform model, the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), requires an inquiry-based curriculum as well as teacher inquiry. Using qualitative inquiry and a normative framework based on Dewey’s theory of inquiry, this study reveals how students and teachers inquire in a high poverty, IB elementary school in Georgia. It also addresses the conditions that influence and hinder inquiry in the school.