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The shape of one’s knowing becomes the shape of one’s being, doing, and becoming.



The information provided in this chapter will assist the reader to:

  • Explore the process of identifying topics that elicit a professional passion for inquiry.

  • Appreciate the influence adult and transformative learning provide when aligned with the processes of engaging in an inquiry.

  • Acknowledge the need for a balance of personal and professional obligations while engaged in an inquiry.


An idea for an inquiry project typically begins from a grounding experience you have had in your field of study, although it may start anywhere. One key starting point to remember, and one that will consistently guide you through the inquiry process, is to begin with, maintain, and end with a passion for what you are studying. Think about a professional grounding experience that has been a guiding force in your life as a student or practitioner. Ironically, this grounding experience will not only guide your inquiry, but will also fuel your passion to plan and execute your inquest. It will truly assist you in coming to know, understand, and engage in evidence-based practice and inquiry.

Post the process of looking within to discern what you want to study, and take time to consider the many philosophies and pedagogies of practice that you have been exposed to over the years. First, philosophical perspectives of evaluation, intervention, and care have helped shape and guide your practice more than you may think about on a daily basis, secondary to them becoming engrained in your work and second nature. Next, consider the experience you have in practice with your clients in terms of the teaching–learning process. Each time we engage in practice with clients there is a teaching–learning component to the session. A few pedagogical methods for any given session may include collaboration, critical reflection, transformation, and replication of a therapeutic modality or exercise. Again, it is very important to take time to ponder the philosophical and pedagogical perspectives and notions that have influenced and enlightened you on areas of practice that you want to explore further. Note that coming to know and understand why and how these notions fit into your agenda may take some time, but giving them deep thought and the courtesy to form a base for your inquiry is time well spent. Once you have established the role these two points will play in your inquiry, the next step is to consider how your learning is situated in the process.


Adult education theorists—extrapolating from and building upon cognitive, social, behavioral, and humanist learning, as well as developmental theories—highlight the diversity and complexity of ...

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