The Creative Inquiry department offers several courses designated with a “CI” prefix, each of which structure a different kind of educational experience we call an “inquiry.” Between the various options available, Creative Inquiry can support and facilitate creative action in just about whatever form it may take. Students can, for example, construct a material craft such as an engine or a piece of furniture; a digital craft such as a website or an app; or a piece of media such as a newspaper, a video, or a radio broadcast. They can produce a piece of fine art like a play, a film, or a symphony, create an organization that promotes a cause they believe in, or stage an event that raises awareness around an issue of social justice. The direction or end of creative action matters less than the experience of taking genuine responsibility for a meaningful endeavor. This experience, we believe, serves as the greatest teacher.
In addition to CI courses, Creative Inquiry facilitates and supports experiences that help younger students build up to an inquiry experience, which students generally undertake in their junior and senior year. These experiences include various clubs, teams, organizations, and no-block classes in which students of any grade can participate. Examples include: SHP’s FIRST Robotics Team, the Sacred Heart Blacksmith Guild, and the several student media organizations.
Ultimately, Creative Inquiry strives to be a nucleus for collaborative, creative action on campus and thus extends department course offerings. Academic classes from the traditional disciplines make use of the CI Lab to enrich learning experiences. In the past year, Marine Biology classes have partnered with Creative Inquiry to build Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for underwater exploration, English classes to facilitate film projects, and Latin classes to build Roman Chariots. In January 2016, the Design Lab for Innovation in Teaching was formed to offer a space for interdisciplinary creative collaboration and promote innovations in pedagogy.