Saul, Wendy, Ed.; Reardon, Jeanne, Ed.
The essays in this book are about values that are being used to drive science instruction in remarkable ways. The essays are divided into three sections. The first section contains two essays about science kits and determines the problem that the rest of the book addresses. The essays in the second section offer a glimpse of what five teachers see…
Given that each child learns differently, it makes sense that one type of science instruction does not fit all. Best-selling author Douglas Llewellyn gives teachers standards-based strategies for differentiating inquiry-based science instruction to more effectively meet the needs of all students. This book takes the concept of inquiry-based…
Rehorek, Susan J.
Inquiry-based learning is more work than passive learning, and there is a body of students who prefer to take the easier route. But there is also a body of students who wish to explore science. Two descriptive evolutionary experiments conducted by university freshman/sophomore biology majors, enrolled in General Zoology are described.
Folkman, Daniel Vance
This dissertation provides an analysis of the dialogue that occurred among a small group of adult learners who engaged in a self-guided action science inquiry into their own practice. The following pages describe how this group of five practitioners ventured into a critical, self-reflective inquiry into their own values, feelings, and intentions in search of personal and professional growth. It is a deeply revealing story that shows how, through group dialogue, the members gradually unravel the interconnections between their values, feelings, and intention. They uncover surprising and unanticipated patterns in their reasoning-in-action that reflect lessons from present day experiences as well as childhood axioms about what constitutes appropriate behavior. They push their learning further to recognize emotional triggers that are useful in confronting old habits of mind that must be overcome if new Model II strategies are to be learned and internalized. They conclude that becoming Model II requires a centering on basic values, a personal commitment to change, a willingness to persist in the face of resistance, and the wisdom to act with deliberate caution. The transformative power of this insight lies in the realization of what it takes personally and collectively to make the world a truly respectful, productive, democratic, and socially just place in which to live and work. The action science literature holds the assumption that a trained facilitator is needed to guide such an inquiry and the learning of Model II skills. Unfortunately, there are few educator-trainers available to facilitate the learning of Model II proficiencies over the months and years that may be required. The data presented here show that it is possible for a group of highly motivated individuals to initiate and sustain their own action science inquiry without the aid of a highly skilled facilitator. A model of the group dialogue is presented that highlights the salient characteristics of an
Soprano, Kristina; Yang, Li-Ling
This case study reports the effects of a cooperative learning field experience on a pre-service teacher's views of inquiry-based science and her science teaching self-efficacy. Framed by an action research model, this study examined (a) the pre-service teacher's developing understanding of inquiry-based science teaching and learning…
Kessler, James H.; Galvan, Patricia M.
This book gives elementary and middle school teachers a set of physical science activities to help teach major concepts in the study of matter. The activities were developed to lend themselves to a guided inquiry approach for use with grades 3-8. To be effective over such a wide grade range, activities are designed to cover basic concepts but have…
Hapgood, Susanna Elizabeth
This interpretive case study describes a 10-day inquiry science program of study of motion down inclined planes during which a class of 21 second graders investigated scientific relationships such as mass and speed, speed and momentum, and mass and momentum via both text-based experiences ("second-hand investigations") and hands-on materials-based experiments ("first-hand investigations"). Data sources included over 11 hours of videotaped instruction in addition to children's written work, class-generated artifacts, and paper-and-pencil pre- and posttests. Content analyses informed by both sociocultural and developmental perspectives revealed that, in addition to a significant increase in pre- to posttest scores, children in the class engaged in several processes integral to inquiry, namely, (a) using data as evidence, (b) evaluating investigative procedures, and (c) making sense of multiple forms of representations. In addition, the study describes the range of and shifts in children's ideas about scientific relationships fundamental to developing an understanding of motion. Many children were observed to make causal attributions involving a relationship between two variables, such as the mass and momentum of a ball rolling down a ramp. Discussed are mediating factors such as the teacher's role in scaffolding the class's investigations and features of the innovative "scientists' notebook" texts, which were integral to the instruction. Also presented is evidence of first-hand and second-hand investigations working in concert to provide the elementary school students with rich opportunities to learn and to express their developing understandings of scientific ideas. This study provides a rare glimpse of primary-grade inquiry-based science instruction within a classroom context.
Cullen, Theresa A.; Akerson, Valarie L.; Hanson, Deborah L.
Teachers are required to work with data on a daily basis to assess the effectiveness of their teaching strategies, but may not approach it as research. This paper presents a reflective discussion of how and when a professional development team used an action research project to help 12 K-6 teachers explore the effectiveness of reform based Nature of Science (NOS) teaching strategies in their classrooms. The team encouraged community development and provided “just in time” supports to scaffold the steps of the action research process for teachers. The discussion includes concerns they addressed and issues related to management and support of the professional development model. Evaluation results are shared to suggest how this approach can be improved in the future.
Bevins, Stuart; Price, Gareth
Decades of discussion and debate about how science is most effectively taught and learned have resulted in a number of similar but competing inquiry models. These aim to develop students learning of science through approaches which reflect the authenticity of science as practiced by professional scientists while being practical and manageable within the school context. This paper offers a collection of our current reflections and suggestions concerning inquiry and its place in science education. We suggest that many of the current models of inquiry are too limited in their vision concerning themselves, almost exclusively, with producing a scaffold which reduces the complex process of inquiry into an algorithmic approach based around a sequence of relatively simple steps. We argue that this restricts students' experience of authentic inquiry to make classroom management and assessment procedures easier. We then speculate that a more integrated approach is required through an alternative inquiry model that depends on three dimensions (conceptual, procedural and personal) and we propose that it will be more likely to promote effective learning and a willingness to engage in inquiry across all facets of a students' school career and beyond.
Bevins, Stuart; Price, Gareth
Decades of discussion and debate about how science is most effectively taught and learned have resulted in a number of similar but competing inquiry models. These aim to develop students learning of science through approaches which reflect the authenticity of science as practiced by professional scientists while being practical and manageable…
Kerlin, Steven C.; McDonald, Scott P.; Kelly, Gregory J.
This study describes an analytic procedure to examine inquiry processes in science teaching and learning. This procedure was applied to the study of a seismology unit in a ninth-grade earth science classroom. An emergent coding scheme was developed that provided a description of the different activities, science content, and type of scientific…
An introductory science course for majors and nonmajors at Hampshire College promotes inquiry during the first semester at college by developing students' abilities to read primary research literature and construct scientifically answerable questions. Using students' mistrust of science is seen as a positive way to develop independent, critical…
Weeks, Denise Jarrett, Ed.; Stepanek, Jennifer, Ed.
This publication presents examples of inquiry-based science teaching in which students develop an understanding of the natural world. Sections include: (1) "Connecting Students to Science and the World" (Jennifer Stepanek); (2) "Apple Orchard Lush with Life's Lessons" (Helen Silvis); (3) "Student Scientists Team Up with the Pros" (Amy Sutton); (4)…
Tan, Yuen Sze Michelle; Caleon, Imelda Santos
The current vision of science education in myriad educational contexts encourages students to learn through the process of science inquiry. Science inquiry has been used to promote conceptual learning and engage learners in an active process of meaning-making and investigation to understand the world around them. The science inquiry process…
Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin
In order for teachers to implement inquiry-based teaching practices, they must have experienced inquiry-based learning especially during science content and methods courses. Although the impacts of inquiry-based instruction on various cognitive and affective domains have been studied and documented little attention has been paid to "how"…
Kielborn, Terrie L., Ed.; Gilmer, Penny J., Ed.
This publication relates the experiences of seven K-8 teachers who participated in a science education doctoral cohort group during which each of the teachers engaged in a different real-world scientific research project. The idea was to immerse teachers in scientific research so that they could experience inquiry in science first-hand and become…
Green, Jeremy W.; Black, Lynette; Willis, Patrick
Studies support science inquiry as a positive method and approach for 4-H professionals and volunteers to use for teaching science-based practices to youth. The development of a science inquiry video series has yielded positive results as it relates to youth development education and science. The video series highlights how to conduct science-rich…
Bryce, Nadine; Wilmes, Sara E. D.; Bellino, Marissa
An effective inquiry-oriented science teacher possesses more than the skills of teaching through investigation. They must address philosophies, and ways of interacting as a member of a group of educators who value and practice science through inquiry. Professional development opportunities can support inquiry identity development, but most often…
Hackling, Mark; Smith, Pru; Murcia, Karen
A key principle of inquiry-based science education is that the process of inquiry must include opportunities for the exploration of questions and ideas, as well as reasoning with ideas and evidence. Teaching and learning Science therefore involves teachers managing a discourse that supports inquiry and students engaging in talk that facilitates…
Inquiry has been one of the most prominent reforms in science education. One of the goals of teaching through inquiry methods is to enable students to have experiences that are authentic to scientists' experiences. Too often, inquiry science is taught as either the "scientific method" or as "hands-on," disconnected activities…
Brown, Patrick L.; Abell, Sandra K.; Demir, Abdulkadir; Schmidt, Francis J.
The purposes of this study were to (a) gain an understanding of the views of inquiry held by faculty members involved in undergraduate science teaching and (b) describe the challenges, constraints, and opportunities that they perceived in designing and teaching inquiry-based laboratories. Participants included 19 college professors, representing both life and physical science disciplines, from (a) 2-year community college, (b) small, private nonprofit liberal arts college, (c) public master's granting university, and (d) public doctoral/research extensive university. We collected data through semistructured interviews and applied an iterative data analysis process. College science faculty members held a full and open inquiry view, seeing classroom inquiry as time consuming, unstructured, and student directed. They believed that inquiry was more appropriate for upper level science majors than for introductory or nonscience majors. Although faculty members valued inquiry, they perceived limitations of time, class size, student motivation, and student ability. These limitations, coupled with their view of inquiry, constrained them from implementing inquiry-based laboratories. Our proposed inquiry continuum represents a broader view of inquiry that recognizes the interaction between two dimensions of inquiry: (a) the degree of inquiry and (b) the level of student directedness, and provides for a range of inquiry-based classroom activities.
Tan, Yuen Sze Michelle; Caleon, Imelda Santos
The current vision of science education in myriad educational contexts encourages students to learn through the process of science inquiry. Science inquiry has been used to promote conceptual learning and engage learners in an active process of meaning-making and investigation to understand the world around them. The science inquiry process typically involves asking questions and defining problems; constructing explanations and designing solutions; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; and engaging in argument from evidence. Despite the importance and provision of new directions and standards about science inquiry, ambiguities in conceptualizations of inquiry still exist. These conceptualizations may serve as barriers to students learning science. In this article, we detail three main concerns related to teachers' conceptualization of science inquiry in the context of a Singapore classroom—concerns that may be similarly faced by teachers elsewhere.
Kastens, Kim A.; Rivet, Ann
To help teachers enrich their students' understanding of inquiry in Earth science, this article describes six modes of inquiry used by practicing geoscientists (Earth scientists). Each mode of inquiry is illustrated by using examples of seminal or pioneering research and provides pointers to investigations that enable students to experience these…
Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad; BouJaoude, Saouma; Duschl, Richard; Lederman, Norman G.; Mamlok-Naaman, Rachel; Hofstein, Avi; Niaz, Mansoor; Treagust, David; Tuan, Hsiao-lin
This paper set emerged from an international symposium that aimed to shed light on issues associated with the enactment of inquiry both as means (i.e., inquiry as an instructional approach) and as ends (i.e., inquiry as a learning outcome) in precollege science classrooms. The symposium contributors were charged with providing perspectives from…
So, Winnie Wing-mui
Science as inquiry and mathematics as problem solving are conjoined fraternal twins attached by their similarities but with distinct differences. Inquiry and problem solving are promoted in contemporary science and mathematics education reforms as a critical attribute of the nature of disciplines, teaching methods, and learning outcomes involving…
Bryce, Nadine; Wilmes, Sara E. D.; Bellino, Marissa
An effective inquiry-oriented science teacher possesses more than the skills of teaching through investigation. They must address philosophies, and ways of interacting as a member of a group of educators who value and practice science through inquiry. Professional development opportunities can support inquiry identity development, but most often they address teaching practices from limited cognitive perspectives, leaving unexplored the shifts in identity that may accompany teachers along their journey in becoming skilled in inquiry-oriented instruction. In this forum article, we envision Victoria Deneroff's argument that "professional development could be designed to facilitate reflexive transformation of identity within professional learning environments" (2013, p. 33). Instructional coaching, cogenerative dialogues, and online professional communities are discussed as ways to promote inquiry identity formation and collaboration in ways that empower and deepen science teachers' conversations related to personal and professional efficacy in the service of improved science teaching and learning.
Martin-Hansen, Lisa M.
The author, an elementary school teacher, describes a way of incorporating an inquiry approach to teaching by refining a crayfish unit originally found in an ESS (Elementary Science Study) module. She used a "coupled-inquiry" approach, a combination of guided-inquiry and open-inquiry, with an application used for assessment purposes. In five or…
Brown, Patrick L.; Abell, Sandra K.; Demir, Abdulkadir; Schmidt, Francis J.
The purposes of this study were to (a) gain an understanding of the views of inquiry held by faculty members involved in undergraduate science teaching and (b) describe the challenges, constraints, and opportunities that they perceived in designing and teaching inquiry-based laboratories. Participants included 19 college professors, representing…
Yager, Robert E.; Abd-Hamid, Nor Hashidah; Akcay, Hakan
The purpose of this study was to examine how different inquiry experiences affect in-service science teachers' performance in terms of their questions and classroom actions. Teachers in a workshop experience proceeded through structured, guided, and full inquiry stations where materials to make foam were provided. Participants were 26 in-service…
Pairing an inquiry lesson with a traditional reading activity creates a jarring philosophical mismatch between the interaction, deep thinking, and scientific reasoning that drives meaningful inquiry instruction and the "scan the text, copy the answers" response often obtained from elementary nonfiction readers. Realizing that there must be a…
Wicker, Rosemary Knight
The South Carolina Mathematics and Science Coaching Initiative established a school-based science coaching model that was effective in improving instruction by increasing the level of inquiry-based instruction in elementary science classrooms. Classroom learning environment data from both teacher groups indicated considerable differences in the quality of inquiry instruction for those classrooms of teachers supported by a science coach. All essential features of inquiry were demonstrated more frequently and at a higher level of open-ended inquiry in classrooms with the support of a science coach than were demonstrated in classrooms without a science coach. However, from teacher observations and interviews, it was determined that elementary schoolteacher practice of having students evaluate conclusions and connect them to current scientific knowledge was often neglected. Teachers with support of a science coach reported changes in inquiry-based instruction that were statistically significant. This mixed ethnographic study also suggested that the Mathematics and Science Coaching Initiative Theory of Action for Instructional Improvement was an effective model when examining the work of science coaches. All components of effective school infrastructure were positively impacted by a variety of science coaching strategies intended to promote inquiry. Professional development for competent teachers, implementation of researched-based curriculum, and instructional materials support were areas highly impacted by the work of science coaches.
Leonard, William H.; Penick, John E.
When describing activities in today's K-12 science classrooms, the word inquiry often causes some confusion. As a result, many of us find ourselves asking the same questions: How do we know when inquiry is authentic? What should happen in an inquiry-centered science classroom? What is the teacher's role in an inquiry-centered class and what is the…
Parse, Rosemarie Rizzo
The purpose of this article is to introduce the language for the mode of inquiry, now known as Parsesciencing. The language for the Humanbecoming Hermeneutic Sciencing was introduced in an earlier volume of Nursing Science Quarterly. Language both reflects and cocreates meaning. The language of sciencing is everchanging; it is an evolutionary emergent, shifting as new ideas cocreate horizons beyond. The language set forth here is to articulate more explicitly meanings of the modes of inquiry consistent with the humanbecoming paradigm and distinct from modes of inquiry in other disciplines. In dwelling with the findings of published and unpublished studies that were guided by humanbecoming, new insights arose, and with creative conceptualizing these new insights gave birth to new meanings, thus different language. The language introduced here includes the following: Parsesciencing as coming to know the meanings of universal humanuniverse living experiences, horizon of inquiry, foreknowings, inquiry stance, mode of inquiry, historians, dialoging-engaging, scholar, distilling-fusing, discerning extant moment, transmogrifying, transsubstantiating, and newknowings. Note: an example of the new language with a Parsesciencing inquiry on the universal humanuniverse living experience of feeling unsure by Sandra Bunkers appears later in this issue. PMID:27641273
Parse, Rosemarie Rizzo
The purpose of this article is to introduce the language for the mode of inquiry, now known as Parsesciencing. The language for the Humanbecoming Hermeneutic Sciencing was introduced in an earlier volume of Nursing Science Quarterly. Language both reflects and cocreates meaning. The language of sciencing is everchanging; it is an evolutionary emergent, shifting as new ideas cocreate horizons beyond. The language set forth here is to articulate more explicitly meanings of the modes of inquiry consistent with the humanbecoming paradigm and distinct from modes of inquiry in other disciplines. In dwelling with the findings of published and unpublished studies that were guided by humanbecoming, new insights arose, and with creative conceptualizing these new insights gave birth to new meanings, thus different language. The language introduced here includes the following: Parsesciencing as coming to know the meanings of universal humanuniverse living experiences, horizon of inquiry, foreknowings, inquiry stance, mode of inquiry, historians, dialoging-engaging, scholar, distilling-fusing, discerning extant moment, transmogrifying, transsubstantiating, and newknowings. Note: an example of the new language with a Parsesciencing inquiry on the universal humanuniverse living experience of feeling unsure by Sandra Bunkers appears later in this issue.
The quest for the inclusion of science inquiry in the curriculum now spans three centuries. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Armstrong, Dewey, and others espoused the teaching of science inquiry. The launch of Sputnik in 1957 began the strong emphasis on inquiry. Renewed interest in inquiry occurred in the late 1980s and 1990s with science…
Spector, Barbara; Burkett, Ruth S.; Leard, Cyndy
This is the report of a qualitative emergent-design study of 2 different Web-enhanced science methods courses for preservice elementary teachers in which an experiential learning strategy, labeled “using yourself as a learning laboratory,” was implemented. Emergent grounded theory indicated this strategy, when embedded in a course organized as an inquiry with specified action foci, contributed to mitigating participants’ resistance to learning and teaching through inquiry. Enroute to embracing inquiry, learners experienced stages resembling the stages of grief one experiences after a major loss. Data sources included participant observation, electronic artifacts in WebCT, and interviews. Findings are reported in 3 major sections: “Action Foci Common to Both Courses,” “Participants’ Growth and Change,” and “Challenges and Tradeoffs.”
Cobern, William W.; Schuster, David; Adams, Betty; Applegate, Brooks; Skjold, Brandy; Undreiu, Adriana; Loving, Cathleen C.; Gobert, Janice D.
There are continuing educational and political debates about "inquiry" versus "direct" teaching of science. Traditional science instruction has been largely direct but in the US, recent national and state science education standards advocate inquiry throughout K-12 education. While inquiry-based instruction has the advantage of modelling aspects…
Buxton, Cory A.
While some students have the opportunity to engage in the kinds of structured inquiry and real-world problem solving called for in the science education reform literature, many other students receive only a daily grind of note taking, end-of-chapter questions and sample test items from state assessments. The result is an engagement gap whereby…
Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Boz, Umit; Broadwell, George A.; Sadler, Troy D.
Background: Science educators have sought to structure collaborative inquiry learning through the assignment of static group roles. This structural approach to student grouping oversimplifies the complexities of peer collaboration and overlooks the highly dynamic nature of group activity. Purpose: This study addresses this issue of…
Adams, Dennis; Hamm, Mary
This book endeavors to show elementary teachers how to integrate mathematics, science, and technology in a cooperative learning environment. The reason for detailing this approach is to help students become creative and critical thinkers. Throughout the text there are numerous inquiry-based, thematic activities specifically designed to promote…
Broom, Frances A.
This mixed method case study employs action research, conducted over a three month period with 11 elementary math and science practitioners. Inquiry as an instructional practice is a vital component of math and science instruction and STEM teaching. Teachers examined their beliefs and teaching practices with regard to those instructional factors that influence inquiry instruction. Video-taped lessons were compared to a rubric and pre and post questionnaires along with two interviews which informed the study. The results showed that while most beliefs were maintained, teachers implemented inquiry at a more advanced level after examining their teaching and reflecting on ways to increase inquiry practices. Because instructional practices provide only one component of inquiry-based instruction, other components need to be examined in a future study.
Nichols, Kim; Burgh, Gilbert; Kennedy, Callie
Developing students' skills to pose and respond to questions and actively engage in inquiry behaviours enables students to problem solve and critically engage with learning and society. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of providing teachers with an intervention in inquiry pedagogy alongside inquiry science curriculum in comparison to an intervention in non-inquiry pedagogy alongside inquiry science curriculum on student questioning and other inquiry behaviours. Teacher participants in the comparison condition received training in four inquiry-based science units and in collaborative strategic reading. The experimental group, the community of inquiry (COI) condition, received training in facilitating a COI in addition to training in the same four inquiry-based science units. This study involved 227 students and 18 teachers in 9 primary schools across Brisbane, Australia. The teachers were randomly allocated by school to one of the two conditions. The study followed the students across years 6 and 7 and students' discourse during small group activities was recorded, transcribed and coded for verbal inquiry behaviours. In the second year of the study, students in the COI condition demonstrated a significantly higher frequency of procedural and substantive higher-order thinking questions and other inquiry behaviours than those in the comparison condition. Implementing a COI within an inquiry science curriculum develops students' questioning and science inquiry behaviours and allows teachers to foster inquiry skills predicated by the Australian Science Curriculum. Provision of inquiry science curriculum resources alone is not sufficient to promote the questioning and other verbal inquiry behaviours predicated by the Australian Science Curriculum.
Dreon, Oliver, Jr.
This phenomenological study demonstrates the influence that affective factors have on beginning teachers' ability to enact instructional practices. Through narratives shared in interviews and web log postings, two beginning science teachers' emotional engagement with their instructional practices, especially that of implementing inquiry-based instruction, and the resulting impact these emotions had on professional decision-making were evidenced. Anxiety emerged as the most significant impacting emotion on instructional decision-making with the participants. Through their stories, the two participants describe how their emotions and views of self influence whether they continue using inquiry pedagogy or alter their lesson to adopt more didactic means of instruction. These emotions arise from their feelings of being comfortable teaching the content (self-efficacy), from the unpredictability of inquiry lessons (control beliefs), from how they perceive their students as viewing them (teacher identity) and from various school constraints (agency). This research also demonstrates how intertwined these aspects are, informing each other in a complex, dialectical fashion. The participants' self-efficacy and professional identity emerge from their interactions with the community (their students and colleagues) and the perceived agency afforded by their schools' curricula and administration. By providing descriptions of teachers' experiences enacting inquiry pedagogy, this study expands our understanding of factors that influence teachers' instructional practices and provides a basis for reforming science teacher preparation.
To understand the issues of inquiry-based education, I adopted John Dewey's theory of inquiry as the analytical framework to examine science learning activities, students' interactions, and education standards. Educators have tried to engage students in meaningful learning, but the analysis revealed that the meaning of inquiry was diverse:…
The North Carolina Infrastructure for Science Education (NC-ISE) is a statewide partnership for implementing standards-based inquiry science using exemplary curriculum materials in the public schools of North Carolina. North Carolina is the 11th most populous state in the USA with 8,000,000 residents, 117 school districts and a geographic area of 48,718 miles. NC-ISE partners include the state education agency, local school systems, three branches of the University of North Carolina, the state mathematics and science education network, businesses, and business groups. The partnership, based upon the Science for All Children model developed by the National Science Resources Centre, was initiated in 1997 for improvement in teaching and learning of science and mathematics. This research-based model has been successfully implemented in several American states during the past decade. Where effectively implemented, the model has led to significant improvements in student interest and student learning. It has also helped reduce the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students and among students from different economic levels. A key program element of the program is an annual Leadership Institute that helps teams of administrators and teachers develop a five-year strategic plan for their local systems. Currently 33 of the117 local school systems have joined the NC-ISE Program and are in various stages of implementation of inquiry science in grades K-8.
Beer, William R.
The result of affirmative action policies and programs is a neglected topic in social science research. This lack of inquiry may itself be an indicator of prejudice against preferential treatment. Empirical studies are needed to question the effects of the policies and to suggest future directions in equal rights. (VM)
Simons, Krista; Clark, Doug
This paper focuses on Web-based science inquiry and five representative science learning environments. The discussion centers around features that sustain science inquiry, namely, data-driven investigation, modeling, collaboration, and scaffolding. From the perspective of these features five science learning environments are detailed: Whyville,…
of science teachers. Second, it examined the meaning of practicing classroom inquiry for National Board Certified Science Teachers [NBCSTs]. Based on the specific cases of four NBCSTs, this naturalistic inquiry study was conducted to answer to those questions with the involvement of the following qualitative data sources: classroom observations, in-depth teacher interviews, and document analyses of teacher portfolios. The specific cases in this study indicated that undergoing the performance assessment process of NBC played an affirmational role for National Board Certified Science Teachers [NBCSTs] in their professional development. Their successful completion of the portfolio assessment process created a sharpened confidence into their existing notions and ways of teaching science. In the study, not all teachers were equally open to science education reform ideas. This meant that NBC experience strengthened the conventional notions of teaching science held by some teachers rather than generating a higher affiliation with the reform ideas. The teacher cases presented in this study denoted that teachers' conceptions of classroom inquiry were driven both by scientific and constructivist rationales. However, NBCSTs failed to create broader operational definitions of classroom inquiry. They tended to reduce the meaning of classroom inquiry into empirical investigations of students. The conventional representation of the scientific method as a stepwise linear process influenced teachers' understandings and practices of classroom inquiry. NBCSTs used inquiry in their classrooms to introduce their students to the cognitive processes and the actions of practicing scientists but not necessarily to teach scientific principles. Their reluctance to teach scientific principles through inquiry developed in parallel to their tendency of associating classroom inquiry with the highest levels of student autonomy. Participant teachers' particular understandings of scientific literacy
Newman, William J.; Abell, Sandra K.; Hubbard, Paula D.; McDonald, James; Otaala, Justine; Martini, Mariana
Because various definitions of inquiry exist in the science education literature and in classroom practice, elementary science methods students and instructors face dilemmas during the study of inquiry. Using field notes, instructor anecdotal notes, student products, and course artifacts, science methods course instructors created fictional journal entries to represent the experiences of both the instructors and students during instruction on inquiry. Identified dilemmas were varying definitions of inquiry, the struggle to provide sufficient inquiry-based science-learning experiences, perceived time constraints, determining how much course time should be slated for science instruction versus pedagogy instruction, instructors'' and students'' lack of inquiry-based learning experiences, grade versus trust issues, and students'' science phobia. Instructors'' attempts at dealing with these dilemmas included using analogies, increased field-experience time, modeling, and detailed rubrics.
Bencze, John Lawrence
"Inquiry" is a nearly ubiquitous part of recommendations for effective practice in school science worldwide. Teachers often experience difficulties, however, in engaging students in inquiry activities in which they are asked to explore physical phenomena (and energy) and, from their inquiries, derive appropriate conclusions about nature. It has…
Newman, William J., Jr.; Abell, Sandra K.; Hubbard, Paula D.; McDonald, James; Otaala, Justine; Martini, Mariana
Because various definitions of inquiry exist in the science education literature and in classroom practice, elementary science methods students and instructors face dilemmas during the study of inquiry. Using field notes, instructor anecdotal notes, student products, and course artifacts, science methods course instructors created fictional…
Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Boz, Umit; Broadwell, George A.; Sadler, Troy D.
Background: Science educators have sought to structure collaborative inquiry learning through the assignment of static group roles. This structural approach to student grouping oversimplifies the complexities of peer collaboration and overlooks the highly dynamic nature of group activity. Purpose: This study addresses this issue of oversimplification of group dynamics by examining the social leadership structures that emerge in small student groups during science inquiry. Sample: Two small student groups investigating the burning of a candle under a jar participated in this study. Design and method: We used a mixed-method research approach that combined computational discourse analysis (computational quantification of social aspects of small group discussions) with microethnography (qualitative, in-depth examination of group discussions). Results: While in one group social leadership was decentralized (i.e., students shared control over topics and tasks), the second group was dominated by a male student (centralized social leadership). Further, decentralized social leadership was found to be paralleled by higher levels of student cognitive engagement. Conclusions: It is argued that computational discourse analysis can provide science educators with a powerful means of developing pedagogical models of collaborative science learning that take into account the emergent nature of group structures and highly fluid nature of student collaboration.
Levy, Sharona T.; Wilensky, Uri
This study lies at an intersection between advancing educational data mining methods for detecting students' knowledge-in-action and the broader question of how conceptual and mathematical forms of knowing interact in exploring complex chemical systems. More specifically, it investigates students' inquiry actions in three computer-based models of…
Ahmed, Sohaib; Parsons, David
Recent advancements in digital technology have attracted the interest of educators and researchers to develop technology-assisted inquiry-based learning environments in the domain of school science education. Traditionally, school science education has followed deductive and inductive forms of inquiry investigation, while the abductive form of…
Morrison, Judith A.
This study was an exploration of the conceptions of inquiry science held by exemplary elementary teachers. The origins of these conceptions were explored in order to establish how best to improve elementary teachers' understanding and implementation of inquiry science teaching. Four focus group sessions were held as well as classroom observations.…
This mixed methodology action research study examined the impact of a curricular innovation designed to provide an authentic science inquiry learning experience for 15 secondary science teacher candidates enrolled in a master's level initial certification program. The class investigated the question "How can peak autumn color in New England be…
Chabalengula, Vivien M.; Mumba, Frackson
This paper is aimed at elucidating the current state of inquiry-based science education (IBSE) in Zambia's high school science curriculum. Therefore, we investigated Zambian teachers' conceptions of inquiry; determined inquiry levels in the national high school science curriculum materials, which include syllabi, textbooks and practical exams; and…
Nowicki, Barbara L.; Sullivan-Watts, Barbara; Shim, Minsuk K.; Young, Betty; Pockalny, Robert
Elementary teachers face increasing demands to engage children in authentic science process and argument while simultaneously preparing them with knowledge of science facts, vocabulary, and concepts. This reform is particularly challenging due to concerns that elementary teachers lack adequate science background to teach science accurately. This study examined 81 in-classroom inquiry science lessons for preservice education majors and their cooperating teachers to determine the accuracy of the science content delivered in elementary classrooms. Our results showed that 74 % of experienced teachers and 50 % of student teachers presented science lessons with greater than 90 % accuracy. Eleven of the 81 lessons (9 preservice, 2 cooperating teachers) failed to deliver accurate science content to the class. Science content accuracy was highly correlated with the use of kit-based resources supported with professional development, a preference for teaching science, and grade level. There was no correlation between the accuracy of science content and some common measures of teacher content knowledge (i.e., number of college science courses, science grades, or scores on a general science content test). Our study concluded that when provided with high quality curricular materials and targeted professional development, elementary teachers learn needed science content and present it accurately to their students.
Erlandson, Benjamin E.; Nelson, Brian C.; Savenye, Wilhelmina C.
Educational multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) have been shown to be effective platforms for situated science inquiry curricula. While researchers find MUVEs to be supportive of collaborative scientific inquiry processes, the complex mix of multi-modal messages present in MUVEs can lead to cognitive overload, with learners unable to…
Stone, Brian Andrew
Scientific inquiry is widely used but pervasively misunderstood in elementary classrooms. The use of inquiry is often attached to direct instruction models of teaching, or is even passed as textbook readings or worksheets. Previous literature on scientific inquiry suggests a range or continuum beginning with teacher-directed inquiry on one extreme, which involves a question, process, and outcome that are predetermined by the teacher. On the other end of the continuum is an element of inquiry that is extremely personal and derived from innate curiosity without external constraints. This authentic inquiry is defined by the study as primal inquiry. If inquiry instruction is used in the elementary classroom, it is often manifested as teacher-directed inquiry, but previous research suggests the most interesting, motivating, and lasting content is owned by the individual and exists within the individual's own curiosity, questioning and processes. Therefore, the study examined the impact of teacher-directed inquiry in two elementary fourth grade classrooms on climate-related factors including interest, motivation, engagement, and student-generated inquiry involvement. The study took place at two elementary classrooms in Arizona. Both were observed for ten weeks during science instruction over the course of one semester. Field notes were written with regard for the inquiry process and ownership, along with climate indicators. Student journals were examined for evidence of primal inquiry, and twenty-two students were interviewed between the two classrooms for evidence of low climate-related factors and low inquiry involvement. Data from the three sources were triangulated. The results of this qualitative study include evidence for three propositions, which were derived from previous literature. Strong evidence was provided in support of all three propositions, which suggest an overall negative impact on climate-related factors of interest, motivation, and engagement for
This qualitative case study examined how middle school science teachers conducted collaborative inquiry and reflection about students' conceptual understanding, and how individual teachers in the middle school science group acted and made reflections in response to their collaborative inquiry. It also examined external influences that affected the teachers' ability to engage in collaborative inquiry. Observational, written, and interview data were collected from observations of teachers' face-to-face meetings and reflections, individual interviews, a focus group interview, and online reflections. The results of this study revealed that collaborative inquiry is a form of professional development that includes answering curricular questions through observation, communication, action, and reflection. This approach was developed and implemented by middle school science teachers. The premise of an inquiry is based on a need with students. Middle school science teachers came to consensus about actions to affect students' conceptual understanding, took action as stated, and shared their reflections of the actions taken with consideration to current and upcoming school activities. Activities involved teachers brainstorming and sharing with one another, talking about how the variables were merged into their curriculum, and how they impacted students' conceptual understanding. Teachers valued talking with one another about science content and pedagogy, but did find the inquiry portion of the approach to require more development. The greatest challenge to conducting collaborative inquiry and reflection was embedding teacher inquiry within a prescribed inquiry that was already being conducted by the Sundown School District. Collaborative inquiry should be structured so that it meets the needs of teachers in order to attend to the needs of students. A conducive atmosphere for collaborative inquiry and reflection is one in which administrators make the process mandatory and
Woods-McConney, Amanda; Wosnitza, Marold; Sturrock, Keryn L.
Science education research has recommended cooperative inquiry based science in the primary science context for more than two decades but after more than 20 years, student achievement in science has not substantially improved. This study, through direct observation and analysis, investigated content-related student interactions in an authentic…
Morrison, Judith A.
This study was an exploration of the conceptions of inquiry science held by exemplary elementary teachers. The origins of these conceptions were explored in order to establish how best to improve elementary teachers' understanding and implementation of inquiry science teaching. Four focus group sessions were held as well as classroom observations. Data were also collected through surveys and interviews. The six exemplary teachers in this study held ideas about inquiry as "finding things out" and all described themselves as having been children who explored and experimented with the world around them. The teachers provided information about successful classroom environments and attitudes that they use to achieve strong inquiry science learning. The teachers had a number of recommendations for helping other teachers become inquiry science teachers and suggestions for professional development for teachers are made based on these recommendations.
McLoughlin, Eilish; Finlayson, Odilla; van Kampen, Paul; McCabe, Deirdre; Brady, Sarah
During the period 2008-2014, the European Commission funded several large-scale projects in science education that promoted the use of inquiry-based learning for engaging young people in science. All these projects were aimed at the introduction and broader use of inquiry-based science education (IBSE) through enriching the skills of teachers by delivering appropriate teacher education programs at both pre-service and in-service levels. This paper will present on the approach adopted by the SAILS project to support science teachers in the use and dissemination of Inquiry based approaches in their own classrooms with students aged 12-18 years.
This lab activity uses inquiry to help students define heat. It is generic in that it can be used to introduce a plethora of science content across middle and high school grade levels and across science disciplines that include biology, Earth and space science, and physical science. Even though heat is a universal science phenomenon that is…
The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) is entering its 25th year as an organization and a network of schools dedicated to transforming the experience of schools and education for young people, their teachers, and their communities nationwide. The practice of educators to engage in cycles of inquiry and actions that address challenges and improve…
Goossen, Linda Hale
Inquiry teaching often rests upon the assumption that through the use of questioning and response strategies, teachers can stimulate students to actively construct knowledge. Based on this hypothesis, middle-school science lessons were observed and questioning and response strategies were identified that are related to inquiry-based instruction. Twenty-four science lessons were observed, videotaped, and ranked by inquiry characteristics other than questioning strategy. The video and audio portions of the recordings were analyzed to determine the student and teacher's questioning and response strategies in each classroom. These strategies were then compared to teaching style, along a continuum from traditional to inquiry, to identify questioning and response strategies that stimulate students to ask questions, solve problems, analyze evidence, consider alternative explanations, and other similar inquiry behaviors. The analyses indicated several questioning strategies of teachers that are related to inquiry teaching and learning and might be used as indicators of inquiry teaching in middle school science lessons. These include the number of content-related questions asked by teachers, the number of divergent questions asked by teachers, the number of times teachers probe for the intended response, the number of times teachers answer students' questions, and the number questions per concept asked by teachers. Perhaps more important was the observation that even after several decades of emphasizing the importance of inquiry methods in science education, neither students nor teachers participating in this study are asking higher-level cognitive questions deemed to be an important facet in the effective teaching and learning of science.
Woods-McConney, Amanda; Wosnitza, Marold; Sturrock, Keryn L.
Science education research has recommended cooperative inquiry based science in the primary science context for more than two decades but after more than 20 years, student achievement in science has not substantially improved. This study, through direct observation and analysis, investigated content-related student interactions in an authentic inquiry based primary science class setting. Thirty-one upper primary students were videotaped working in cooperative inquiry based science activities. Cooperative talk and negotiation of the science content was analysed to identify any high-level group interactions. The data show that while all groups have incidences of high-level content-related group interactions, the frequency and duration of these interactions were limited. No specific pattern of preceding events was identified and no episodes of high-level content-related group interactions were immediately preceded by the teacher's interactions with the groups. This in situ study demonstrated that even without any kind of scaffolding, specific skills in knowing how to implement cooperative inquiry based science, high-level content-related group interactions did occur very briefly. Support for teachers to develop their knowledge and skills in facilitating cooperative inquiry based science learning is warranted to ensure that high-level content-related group interactions and the associated conceptual learning are not left to chance in science classrooms.
Gutwill, Joshua P.; Allen, Sue
We describe a study of programs to deepen families' scientific inquiry practices in a science museum setting. The programs incorporated research-based learning principles from formal and informal educational environments. In a randomized experimental design, two versions of the programs, called "inquiry games," were compared to two control…
Haug, Berit S.
This study examines how an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning creates teachable moments that can foster conceptual understanding in students, and how teachers capitalize upon these moments. Six elementary school teachers were videotaped as they implemented an integrated inquiry-based science and literacy curriculum in their…
Clark, Douglas B.; Touchman, Stephanie; Martinez-Garza, Mario; Ramirez-Marin, Frank; Drews, Tina Skjerping
Research over the past fifteen years has investigated and developed online science inquiry environments to support students engaging in authentic scientific inquiry practices. This research has focused on developing activity structures and tools to scaffold students in engaging in different aspects of these practices, but relatively little of this…
Watt, Sarah J.; Therrien, William J.; Kaldenberg, Erica; Taylor, Jonte
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of inquiry-based instruction and to outline components of inquiry-based instruction key to ensuring that students with disabilities in inclusive science classrooms acquire core concepts. The use of collaboration, big ideas, knowledge and retention strategies, and formative assessments are…
Selby, Cecily Cannan
Although science is very successful at its business of explaining phenomena, it is not successful at explaining the nature of its own phenomenon: scientific inquiry. Absent understanding, myths, and misconceptions rush in. The author takes a closer look at the process of scientific inquiry, and presents a review of how scientists describe what…
Inquiry-based classroom is widely distributed in the school science based on its useful and effective instruction. Science teachers are key elements allowing students to have scientific inquiry. If teachers understand and imply inquiry-based learning into science classroom, students will learn science as scientific inquiry and understand nature of…
Sharma, Ajay; Muzaffar, Irfan
Teacher education programs have adopted preparing science teachers that teach science through inquiry as an important pedagogic agenda. However, their efforts have not met with much success. While traditional explanations for this failure focus largely on preservice science teachers' knowledge, beliefs and conceptions regarding science and science…
With the overarching goal of improving scientific literacy for all, the emphasis on science achievement had been expanding all over the world. In this study, I examined the total, direct and indirect effects of inquiry-based science instruction on U. S. 8th graders' science achievement through attitudes toward science. I also examined the…
Gillies, Robyn M.; Nichols, Kim
Many primary teachers face challenges in teaching inquiry science, often because they believe that they do not have the content knowledge or pedagogical skills to do so. This is a concern given the emphasis attached to teaching science through inquiry where students do not simply learn about science but also do science. This study reports on the reflections of nine grade 6 teachers who taught two cooperative, inquiry science units once a term for two consecutive school terms. The study focused on investigating their perceptions of teaching inquiry science as well as the processes they employed, including the benefits and challenges of this student-centred approach to teaching, with longer task structures that characterises inquiry learning. Although the teachers reflected positively on their experiences teaching the inquiry science units, they also expressed concerns about the challenges that arise when teaching through inquiry. Implications for teacher education are discussed.
Sciulli, Joseph A.
The purpose of this study was to examine the role professional development takes in fostering change in the pedagogical practices of K--5 classroom teachers, specifically in teaching science through inquiry. Michael Fullan's three elements essential for change: curriculum, instruction, and philosophy, were used as the lens through which to observe and analyze the impact of an intervention for changing teaching practices in K--5 classrooms. The intervention that assisted in creating an environment for change in behaviors was a morphed version of the Exploratorium's Institute for Inquiry, the ASSET Institute for Inquiry, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During a three year period 208 teachers attended the five day Institute. It modeled the pedagogy, philosophy and related curriculum strategies indigenous to teaching science through inquiry. Each teacher was sent a questionnaire. The questionnaire was a compilation of Horizon Research, National Science Education Standards, and the National Science Education Inquiry Standard. The analysis of the statistical relationships between the Institute and change in the use of curriculum, instruction, or beliefs in action was done. The results indicate a statistically significant relationship between the Institute for Inquiry and change in teaching practices. There was an increase in the use and implementation of hands-on inquiry-based curricula: STC, FOSS, and INSIGHTS. There was an increase in those instructional strategies and classroom practices supportive of science through inquiry. There was a statistical relationship between the intervention and the NSES indicators of inquiry in practice. Further research was done with regard to teaching experience (i.e., number of years teaching), time interval between completion of the intervention and implementation of the philosophy and strategies indigenous to inquiry, and the relationship a resource teacher (e.g., teacher teaching teacher) develops with classroom teachers and the
Preservice Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of Their Understanding of Inquiry and Inquiry-Based Science Pedagogy: Influence of an Elementary Science Education Methods Course and a Science Field Experience
Varma, Tina; Volkmann, Mark; Hanuscin, Deborah
Literature indicates that the "National Science Education Standards" ("NSES") teaching standards and inquiry-based teaching strategies for science are not uniformly incorporated into the elementary science methods (eSEM) courses across the U.S. and that field experiences might not provide appropriate models of the inquiry-based science pedagogy…
Cuevas, Peggy; Lee, Okhee; Hart, Juliet; Deaktor, Rachael
This study examined the impact of an inquiry-based instructional intervention on (a) children's ability to conduct science inquiry overall and to use specific skills in inquiry, and (b) narrowing the gaps in children's ability among demographic subgroups of students. The intervention consisted of instructional units, teacher workshops, and classroom practices. The study involved 25 third- and fourth-grade students from six elementary schools representing diverse linguistic and cultural groups. Quantitative results demonstrated that the intervention enhanced the inquiry ability of all students regardless of grade, achievement, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), home language, and English proficiency. Particularly, low-achieving, low-SES, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) exited students made impressive gains. The study adds to the existing literature on designing learning environments that foster science inquiry of all elementary students.
This account of practice discusses the author's experience in facilitating a small group of managers in health care over lunchtime utilizing an action learning approach. This was part of a larger leadership development initiative which took place in the organization and the intention was to create a more intimate, informal and safe setting whereby…
Rudolph, John L.
Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high level of attention given to student understanding of the nature of science. This essay looks at the range of activities that fall within the first trend, noting, in particular, the growing popularity of inquiry activities that engage students in engineering-type tasks. The potential for public disengagement from science and technology issues is described as a result of the continued juxtaposition of these sorts of inquiry activities with our current, idealized portrayals of the nature of science - the emphasis of the second trend. Drawing on Dewey's instrumental theory of knowledge, an alternative way of thinking about science is offered that would not only provide for a more authentic understanding of science, but also invite much needed public participation in the broad governance of science in modern-day democratic societies.
The purpose of this study was to discern what differences exist between the science inquiry learning environments created by National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and non-NBCTs. Four research questions organized the data collection and analysis: (a) How do National Board Certified science teachers' knowledge of the nature of science differ from that of their non-NBCT counterparts? (b) How do the frequencies of student science inquiry behaviors supported by in middle/secondary learning environments created by NBCTs differ from those created by their non-NBCT counterparts? (c) What is the relationship between the frequency of students' science inquiry behaviors and their science reasoning and understanding of the nature of science? (d) What is the impact of teacher perceptions factors impacting curriculum and limiting inquiry on the existence of inquiry learning environments? The setting in which this study was conducted was middle and high schools in Kentucky during the period between October 2006 and January 2007. The population sampled for the study was middle and secondary science teachers certified to teach in Kentucky. Of importance among those were the approximately 70 National Board Certified middle and high school science teachers. The teacher sample consisted of 50 teachers, of whom 19 were NBCTs and 31 were non-NBCTs. This study compared the science inquiry teaching environments created by NBCTs and non-NBCTs along with their consequent effect on the science reasoning and nature of science (NOS) understanding of their students. In addition, it examined the relationship with these science inquiry environments of other teacher characteristics along with teacher perception of factors influencing curriculum and factors limiting inquiry. This study used a multi-level mixed methodology study incorporating both quantitative and qualitative measures of both teachers and their students. It was a quasi-experimental design using non-random assignment of
Shope, R. E.; Alcantara Valverde, L.
A recent National Academy of Sciences report recommends that science educators focus strategically on teaching the practice of science. To accomplish this, we have devised and implemented the Science Performance Laboratory, a collaborative research, education, and workforce model that brings scientists and science educators together to conduct scientific inquiry. In this session, we demonstrate how to form active inquiry teams around Arctica Science Research content areas related to the International Polar Year. We use the term "Arctica Science Research" to refer to the entire scope of exploration and discovery relating to: polar science and its global connections; Arctic and Antarctic research and climate sciences; ice and cryospheric studies on Earth; polar regions of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury; icy worlds throughout the Solar System, such as Europa, Enceladus, Titan, Pluto and the Comets; cryovolcanism; ice in interstellar space, and beyond. We apply the notion of teaching the practice science by enacting three effective strategies: 1) The Inquiry Wheel Game, in which we develop an expanded understanding of what has been traditionally taught as "the scientific method"; 2) Acting Out the Science Story, in which we develop a physicalized expression of our conceptual understanding; and 3) Selecting Success Criteria for Inquiry Coaching, in which we reframe how we evaluate science learning as we teach the practice of science.
Smith, Erica L.
This study was situated in a NSF-funded multi-year teacher professional development project, STIS, between the university and a school district in the North Eastern United States. The STIS project affords an opportunity to understand the processes and conditions in which science teachers develop interdisciplinary science inquiry knowledge and how that is translated into their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). As part of that study and within the framework of PCK in science, this study explored (1) the extent to which the involvement of in-service science teachers in authentic research experiences impacts their PCK of interdisciplinary science inquiry, and (2) the factors that contribute to or constrain the development of interdisciplinary science inquiry PCK. This research study utilized a mixed method, explanatory research design. Cross-case analysis of 10 teachers and the development of 3 case studies were done to examine the development of in-service science teachers PCK over the course of the first 3 years of the STIS project. Results showed that teachers participating in the STIS project demonstrated various levels of change in regards to their PCK, understanding of ISI, and implementation of ISI in classroom practices. The core features of STIS identified as impacting this change included (1) the summer research connection, (2) collaboration with STEM students, (3) an active learning environment, and (4) duration. The core features and the major contextual factors that were identified were utilized to revise the STIS' conceptual framework and create a theory of action. The findings of this study have implications for planning and conducting effective in-service for science educators.
Zhao, Ningfeng; Witzig, Stephen B.; Weaver, Jan C.; Adams, John E.; Schmidt, Frank
Two Summer Institutes funded by the National Science Foundation were held for current and future college science faculty. The overall goal was to promote learning and practice of inquiry-based college science teaching. We developed a collaborative and active learning format for participants that involved all phases of the 5E learning cycle of…
Gillies, Robyn M.; Nichols, Kim
Many primary teachers face challenges in teaching inquiry science, often because they believe that they do not have the content knowledge or pedagogical skills to do so. This is a concern given the emphasis attached to teaching science through inquiry where students do not simply learn about science but also do science. This study reports on the…
The author describes a professional development model for high school science teachers based on the framework of inquiry and science standards. The "Learn-Teach-Assess Inquiry" model focuses on guided inquiry labs as the central theme and builds on these labs to reinforce science concepts and abilities to understand and engage in inquiry in…
This study investigated the effectiveness of a guided inquiry integrated with technology, in terms of female middle-school students' attitudes toward science/scientists and content knowledge regarding selective science concepts (e.g., Greenhouse Effect, Air/Water Quality, Alternative Energy, and Human Health). Thirty-five female students who were…
Qablan, Ahmad M.; DeBaz, Theodora
Preservice science teachers generally feel that the implementation of inquiry-based science teaching is very difficult to manage. This research project aimed at facilitating the implementation of inquiry-based science teaching through the use of several classroom strategies. The evaluation of 15 classroom strategies from 80 preservice elementary…
Affhalter, Maria Geralyn
An action research project using science inquiry labs and cooperative learning groups examined the effects of same-gender and co-educational classrooms on science achievement and teacher-assigned or self-selected group roles on students' role preferences. Fifty-nine seventh grade students from a small rural school district participated in two inquiry labs in co-educational classrooms or in an all-female classroom, as determined by parents at the beginning of the academic year. Students were assigned to the same cooperative groups for the duration of the study. Pretests and posttests were administered for each inquiry-based science lab. Posttest assessments included questions for student reflection on role assignment and role preference. Instruction did not vary and a female science teacher taught all class sections. The same-gender classroom and co-ed classrooms produced similar science achievement scores on posttests. Students' cooperative group roles, whether teacher-assigned or self-selected, produced similar science achievement scores on posttests. Male and female students shared equally in favorable and unfavorable reactions to their group roles during the science inquiry labs. Reflections on the selection of the leader role revealed a need for females in co-ed groups to be "in charge". When reflecting on her favorite role of leader, one female student in a co-ed group stated, "I like to have people actually listen to me".
With the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, educators and policy makers have been seeking effective strategies to improve students' science, mathematics and reading achievement. One of the primary teaching strategies recommended by reform-oriented organizations, such as the National Research Council (1996), is to utilize inquiry-based science instruction. In this study, I examined the effects of inquiry-based science instruction and traditional science instruction on student achievement across science, mathematics and reading. I also compared the effects of inquiry-based science instruction and traditional science instruction on student achievement. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999---a large, national data sample---a series of structural equation modeling analyses were performed. Results indicated that inquiry-based science instruction was associated with significant, positive gains not only in science achievement, but also in mathematics and reading achievement. The positive relationship between inquiry instruction and student achievement was found above and beyond the contributions of traditional science instruction, which generally showed no significant relationship to student achievement. Findings support the theoretical position that inquiry-based science instruction can have robust benefits across the curriculum. This study contributes to the dialogue on effective instructional methods to achieve science, mathematics and reading literacy for all. Overall, this study provides cautious support for the idea that student achievement can be promoted by supporting and encouraging teachers to implement inquiry-based science instruction.
Forbes, Cory T.; Davis, Elizabeth A.
Teachers' "curricular role identities" are those dimensions of their professional identities concerned with the use of curriculum materials. In a previous study, we developed and tested a survey instrument designed to measure preservice elementary teachers' development of curricular role identity for science teaching through their use of science…
Haug, Berit S.
This study examines how an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning creates teachable moments that can foster conceptual understanding in students, and how teachers capitalize upon these moments. Six elementary school teachers were videotaped as they implemented an integrated inquiry-based science and literacy curriculum in their classrooms. In this curriculum, science inquiry implies that students search for evidence in order to make and revise explanations based on the evidence found and through critical and logical thinking. Furthermore, the curriculum material is designed to address science key concepts multiple times through multiple modalities (do it, say it, read it, write it). Two types of teachable moments were identified: planned and spontaneous. Results suggest that the consolidation phases of inquiry, when students reinforce new knowledge and connect their empirical findings to theory, can be considered as planned teachable moments. These are phases of inquiry during which the teacher should expect, and be prepared for, student utterances that create opportunities to further student learning. Spontaneous teachable moments are instances when the teacher must choose to either follow the pace of the curriculum or adapt to the students' need. One implication of the study is that more teacher support is required in terms of how to plan for and effectively utilize the consolidation phases of inquiry.
Cantrell, Pamela; Knudson, Mark S.
Participants in a science professional development field experience were surveyed for their perceptions of the impacts of integrating a wireless local area network (WLAN), pocket PCs, and laptops as tools for enhancing science inquiry. Pocket PCs and laptops were used for data collection and analysis and for communication of research results to…
Krämer, Philipp; Nessler, Stefan H.; Schlüter, Kirsten
Background: Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) is suitable to teach scientific contents as well as to foster scientific skills. Similar conclusions are drawn by studies with respect to scientific literacy, motivational aspects, vocabulary knowledge, conceptual understandings, critical thinking, and attitudes toward science. Nevertheless, IBSE…
Zwiep, Susan Gomez; Straits, William J.
This paper presents findings from a 4-year project that developed and implemented a blended inquiry science and English Language Development (ELD) program in a large urban California school district. The sample included over 2,000 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Participating students' English and science achievement was compared…
Cobern, William; Schuster, David; Adams, Betty
It is evident that "experientially-based" instruction and "active student engagement" are advantageous for effective science learning. However, "hands-on" and "minds-on" aspects can occur in both inquiry and direct science instruction, and convincing comparative evidence for the superiority of either mode remains rare. Thus, the pertinent question…
Gerard, Libby F.; Varma, Keisha; Corliss, Stephanie B.; Linn, Marcia C.
The knowledge integration framework is used to analyze studies on professional development in technology-enhanced science involving more than 2,350 teachers and 138,0000 students. The question of how professional development enhances teachers' support for students' inquiry science learning is the focus of the work. A literature search using the…
Samarapungavan, Ala; Patrick, Helen; Mantzicopoulos, Panayota
The purpose of this study was to examine how participation in an inquiry-based science program impacts kindergarten students' science learning and motivation. The study was implemented as part of a larger, federally funded research project, the Scientific Literacy Project or SLP (Mantzicopoulos, Patrick, & Samarapungavan, 2005). The study provides…
McDermott, Lillian C.; Shaffer, Peter S.; Constantinou, C. P.
In physics, neither courses for majors nor for non-majors provide the kind of preparation required for teaching physics or physical science by inquiry. Indicates that science methods courses cannot help teachers develop the depth of understanding needed for this type of teaching. Offers a practical alternative for special physics courses for…
Demir, Abdulkadir; Schmidt, Frank; Abell, Sandra K.
The authors engaged nonscience majors enrolled in an integrated science course with a prototype activity designed to change their mindset from cookbook to inquiry science. This article describes the activity, the Warm Little Pond, which helped students develop essential understanding of basic statistics, significant figures, and the idea that…
Steinberg, Richard; Wyner, Yael; Borman, Greg; Salame, Issa I.
This study reports on targeted science courses for undergraduate childhood education majors. We describe an inquiry-oriented, three-course sequence spanning physical, life, and environmental science. All three courses are hands-on and are designed to reflect the content and pedagogy most important to future elementary school teachers.
Lakin, Joni M.; Wallace, Carolyn S.
Inquiry-based teaching promotes students' engagement in problem-solving and investigation as they learn science concepts. Current practice in science teacher education promotes the use of inquiry in the teaching of science. However, the literature suggests that many science teachers hold incomplete or incorrect conceptions of inquiry.…
Science education reforms in U.S. schools emphasize the importance of students' construction of knowledge through inquiry. Organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Research Council (NRC), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have demonstrated a commitment to searching for solutions and renewed efforts to improve science education. One suggestion for science education reform in U.S. schools was a transition from traditional didactic, textbook-based to inquiry-based instructional programs. While inquiry has shown evidence for improved student learning in science, what is needed is empirical evidence of those inquiry-based practices that affect student outcomes in a local context. This study explores the relationship between instructional programs and curricular changes affecting student outcomes in the Santa Ana Unified District (SAUSD): It provides evidence related to achievement and attitudes. SAUSD employs two approaches to teaching in the middle school science classrooms: traditional and inquiry-based approaches. The Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) program is an inquiry-based science program that utilizes resources for implementation of the University of California Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) to support inquiry-based teaching and learning. Findings in this study provide empirical support related to outcomes of seventh-grade students, N = 328, in the LASER and traditional science programs in SAUSD.
Kostenbader, Tracy C.
Due to the logistics of guided-inquiry lesson, students learn to problem solve and develop critical thinking skills. This mixed-methods study analyzed the students' attitudes towards science during inquiry lessons. My quantitative results from a repeated measures survey showed no significant difference between student attitudes when taught with either structured-inquiry or guided-inquiry lessons. The qualitative results analyzed through a constant-comparative method did show that students generate positive interest, critical thinking and low level stress during guided-inquiry lessons. The qualitative research also gave insight into a teacher's transition to guided-inquiry. This study showed that with my students, their attitudes did not change during this transition according to the qualitative data however, the qualitative data did how high levels of excitement. The results imply that students like guided-inquiry laboratories, even though they require more work, just as much as they like traditional laboratories with less work and less opportunity for creativity.
Chowdhary, Bhawna; Liu, Xiufeng; Yerrick, Randy; Smith, Erica; Grant, Brooke
The current literature relates to how teachers develop knowledge and practice of science inquiry, but little has been reported on how teachers develop interdisciplinary science inquiry (ISI) knowledge and practice. This study examines the effect of university research experiences, ongoing professional development, and in-school support on…
Ozdem, Yasemin; Ertepinar, Hamide; Cakiroglu, Jale; Erduran, Sibel
The aim of this study was to investigate the kinds of argumentation schemes generated by pre-service elementary science teachers (PSTs) as they perform inquiry-oriented laboratory tasks, and to explore how argumentation schemes vary by task as well as by experimentation and discussion sessions. The model of argumentative and scientiﬁc inquiry was used as a design framework in the present study. According to the model, the inquiry of scientific topics was employed by groups of participants through experimentation and critical discussion sessions. The participants of the study were 35 PSTs, who teach middle school science to sixth through eighth grade students after graduation. The data were collected through video- and audio-recordings of the discussions made by PSTs in six inquiry-oriented laboratory sessions. For the analysis of data, pre-determined argumentation schemes by Walton were employed. The results illustrated that PSTs applied varied premises rather than only observations or reliable sources to ground their claims or to argue for a case or an action. It is also worthy of notice that the construction and evaluation of scientific knowledge claims resulted in different numbers and kinds of arguments. Results of this study suggest that designing inquiry-oriented laboratory environments, which are enriched with critical discussion, provides discourse opportunities that can support argumentation. Moreover, PSTs can be encouraged to support and promote argumentation in their future science classrooms if they engage in argumentation integrated instructional strategies.
Manoj, T. I.; Devanathan, S.
This research study is the report of an experiment conducted to find out the effects of web based inquiry science environment on cognitive outcomes in Biological science in correlation to Emotional intelligence. Web based inquiry science environment (WISE) provides a platform for creating inquiry-based science projects for students to work…
Herrington, Deborah G.; Bancroft, Senetta F.; Edwards, Molly M.; Schairer, Caroline J.
This qualitative study examined how and why research experiences for teachers (RETs) influenced middle and high school science teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and values about teaching science as inquiry. Changes teachers reported after participating in the RET ranged from modifying a few lessons (belief change) to a comprehensive revision of what and how they taught to better reflect inquiry (attitude change). Some teachers who described comprehensively changing their instruction also described implementing actions meant to change science education within their respective schools, not just their own classrooms (value change). We present how and why teachers went about changes in their practices in relation to the researcher-created teacher inquiry beliefs system spectrum (TIBSS). The TIBSS conceptualizes the range of changes observed in participating teachers. We also describe the features of the RET and external factors, such as personal experiences and school contexts, that teachers cited as influential to these changes.
Kaufman, W. Paul
Designed as a basic workbook using the inquiry process or as a supplementary text in the classroom, this 129 page booklet is divided into five units: Moving in on the Earth From Space, The Earth's Great Bodies of Water, Composition of the Solid Earth, The Earth's Crust is Constantly Changing, and Studying the Earth's History. The exercises are…
Wang, Chien-hsing; Ke, Yi-Ting; Wu, Jin-Tong; Hsu, Wen-Hua
This paper briefly reports the outcomes of an action research inquiry on the use of blogs, MS PowerPoint [PPT], and the Internet as learning tools with a science class of sixth graders for project-based learning. Multiple sources of data were essential to triangulate the key findings articulated in this paper. Corresponding to previous studies,…
Moore, Sara Delano; Bintz, William P.
Identifies literature that has the potential to introduce students to the meaning of science, inquiry, and scientists. Discusses the importance of using multiple texts to teach science, reading strategies to introduce the concept of inquiry, literature to extend student understanding of the role of inquiry in science, and the use of this cluster…
Lee, Carole K.; Shea, Marilyn
This study examines how pre-service elementary teachers (PSETs) view inquiry-based science learning and teaching, and how the science methods course builds their confidence to teach inquiry science. Most PSETs think that inquiry is asking students questions rather than a formal set of pedagogical tools. In the present study, three groups of PSETs…
Inquiry-based learning is widely considered for science education in this era. This study aims to explore inquiry-based learning in teacher preparation program and the findings will help us to understanding what inquiry-based classroom is and how inquiry-based learning are. Data were collected by qualitative methods; classroom observation,…
Li, Yufeng; Xiong, Jianwen
Scientific inquiry is one of the science curriculum content, "Scientific inquiry" - Pedagogical Content Knowledge is the face of scientific inquiry and teachers - of course pedagogical content knowledge and scientific inquiry a teaching practice with more direct expertise. Pre-service teacher training phase of acquisition of knowledge is…
Sharples, Mike; Scanlon, Eileen; Ainsworth, Shaaron; Anastopoulou, Stamatina; Collins, Trevor; Crook, Charles; Jones, Ann; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Littleton, Karen; Mulholland, Paul; O'Malley, Claire
A central challenge for science educators is to enable young people to act as scientists by gathering and assessing evidence, conducting experiments, and engaging in informed debate. We report the design of the nQuire toolkit, a system to support scripted personal inquiry learning, and a study of its use with school students ages 11-14. This…
Schultz, Bryan; Yates, Crystal; Schultz, Jayne M.
To help eighth-grade students experience the excitement of Earth science research, the authors developed an inquiry-based project in which students evaluated and cataloged their campus geology and soils. Following class discussions of rock-weathering and soil-forming processes, students worked in groups to excavate multiple soil pits in the school…
Liem, Tik L.
This supplement to the first and second editions of "Invitations to Science Inquiry" contains about 100 more discrepant events (occurrences or happenings which go against what we usually think likely) presented in the second edition plus 50 additional discrepant events. Discrepant events function by causing dissonance between what is physically…
van der Valk, Ton; de Jong, Onno
The present study deals with a school-based professional development trajectory for secondary science teachers, aiming at scaffolding teachers in open-inquiry teaching for the topic of water quality. Its design was based on the leading principle of "guiding by scaffolding". Seven experienced teachers participated in institutional meetings and…
Stedman, Carlton H.
The characteristics and major events of early American science are discussed in this paper. The philosophical influences and scientific practices of prominent scientists in early American time periods are examined and referenced in terms of their orientation to inquiry-oriented methods. Specific descriptions of the scientific accomplishments of…
Wiley, Jennifer; Goldman, Susan R.; Graesser, Arthur C.; Sanchez, Christopher A.; Ash, Ivan K.; Hemmerich, Joshua A.
In two experiments, undergraduates' evaluation and use of multiple Internet sources during a science inquiry task were examined. In Experiment 1, undergraduates had the task of explaining what caused the eruption of Mt. St. Helens using the results of an Internet search. Multiple regression analyses indicated that source evaluation significantly…
Lakin, Joni M.; Wallace, Carolyn S.
Inquiry-based teaching promotes students' engagement in problem-solving and investigation as they learn science concepts. Current practice in science teacher education promotes the use of inquiry in the teaching of science. However, the literature suggests that many science teachers hold incomplete or incorrect conceptions of inquiry. Teachers, therefore, may believe they are providing more inquiry experiences than they are, reducing the positive impact of inquiry on science interest and skills. Given the prominence of inquiry in professional development experiences, educational evaluators need strong tools to detect intended use in the classroom. The current study focuses on the validity of assessments developed for evaluating teachers' use of inquiry strategies and classroom orientations. We explored the relationships between self-reported inquiry strategy use, preferences for inquiry, knowledge of inquiry practices, and related pedagogical content knowledge. Finally, we contrasted students' and teachers' reports of the levels of inquiry-based teaching in the classroom. Self-reports of inquiry use, especially one specific to the 5E instructional model, were useful, but should be interpreted with caution. Teachers tended to self-report higher levels of inquiry strategy use than their students perceived. Further, there were no significant correlations between either knowledge of inquiry practices or PCK and self-reported inquiry strategy use.
Oates, Karen Kashmanian
Questions the goals of high school to college science education and compares what is achieved with traditional teaching strategies. Describes how science majors and non-science majors alike are based on an authentic field-based research. Explains the principles of best practices in undergraduate science education. (YDS)
Marston, Susan Hemphill
In this teacher-research study, I explore the process of inquiring to learn science from the perspective of third graders. As a teacher-researcher, this study was conducted in my third grade classroom over the course of a year. I used qualitative research methods to construct five ethnographic case studies of my students. The study focused on (1) third graders' conceptions of science and being scientists. It examined how these conceptions changed (or did not change) throughout the year, and (2) the connections that these students made (or did not make) between science and reading, writing, talking, and listening. Student interviews, observations, and written documentation, as well as my own reflective journal, informed the case studies. The data suggests that these third graders' conceptions of being a scientist are directly related to their definitions of science. These third graders compare their actions to their conceptions of science to determine if they are a scientist. In addition, the data reveals that these students' reading, writing, talking, and listening experiences influence their science conceptions. In particular, I identify three variables, context, definition, and relationships that interact to contribute (or distract) from these third graders' thinking about themselves as scientists. The context in which science is explored plays an important role in these third graders' conceptions. The places where science is performed and who conceives the original ideas to be tested are important conditions. These third graders' definition of science and the relationships they construct within the curriculum and each other also influence their conceptions of being scientists. Overall, this study finds that these third graders use the processes of reading, writing, talking, and listening to enhance their science understanding. It also points to the importance of having the students engage in scientific inquiry both in and out of the classroom. This research
Jernnigan, Laura Jane
Few research studies have been conducted related to inquiry-based scientific teaching methodologies and NCLB-required state testing. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the strategies used by seventh-grade science teachers in Illinois and student scores on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) to aid in determining best practices/strategies for teaching middle school science. The literature review defines scientific inquiry by placing teaching strategies on a continuum of scientific inquiry methodologies from No Inquiry (Direct Instruction) through Authentic Inquiry. Five major divisions of scientific inquiry: structured inquiry, guided inquiry, learning cycle inquiry, open inquiry, and authentic inquiry, have been identified and described. These five divisions contain eight sub-categories: demonstrations; simple or hands-on activities; discovery learning; variations of learning cycles; problem-based, event-based, and project-based; and student inquiry, science partnerships, and Schwab's enquiry. Quantitative data were collected from pre- and posttests and surveys given to the participants: five seventh grade science teachers in four Academic Excellence Award and Spotlight Award schools and their 531 students. Findings revealed that teachers reported higher inquiry scores for themselves than for their students; the two greatest reported factors limiting teachers' use of inquiry were not enough time and concern about discipline and large class size. Although the correlation between total inquiry and mean difference of pre- and posttest scores was not statistically significant, the survey instrument indicated how often teachers used inquiry in their classes, not the type of inquiry used. Implications arose from the findings that increase the methodology debate between direction instruction and inquiry-based teaching strategies; teachers are very knowledgeable about the Illinois state standards, and various inquiry-based methods
Kurien, Sarah Anjali
The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between middle school teachers' personal teaching efficacy and their students' academic efficacy for science and inquiry science. Teachers can create classroom environments that promote the development of students' science self-efficacy (Britner & Pajares, 2006). Teachers who are efficacious and believe they are able to effectively teach science are more comfortable teaching science (Plourde, 2002) and more likely to commit classroom time to teaching science. Additionally, they are better equipped to challenge and support students as they develop their science skills and efficacy beliefs. Therefore, it was expected that teachers' personal teaching efficacy for science would be related to their students' science efficacy. Similarly, it was predicted that teachers' personal teaching efficacy for inquiry science would be related to their students' inquiry science efficacy. It was expected that the relation between teacher and student efficacy would not differ by students' gender. Data was collected from 26 middle school science teachers who were participating in a professional development program and 660 students from their classes. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analyses were completed to evaluate the relation between teacher and student efficacy for science and inquiry science. Planned analyses revealed no significant predictors of students' science and inquiry science efficacy. Exploratory analyses were then conducted which added student grade and a measure evaluating the quality of teacher-student relationships to the original HLM analyses. Results indicated a significant interaction between the quality of teacher-student relationships and student grade on the prediction of students' science and inquiry science efficacy. A discussion of the results along with limitations of the study and avenues for future research will be provided.
Kremer, Kerstin; Specht, Christiane; Urhahne, Detlef; Mayer, Jürgen
Informed understandings of nature of science and scientific inquiry are generally accepted goals of biology education. This article points out central features of scientific inquiry with relation to biology and the nature of science in general terms and focuses on the relationship of students' inquiry skills in biology and their beliefs on the…
Horne, Christopher R.
This study explores the experiences of 4th grade students in an inquiry-based space science classroom. At the heart of the study lies the essential question: What is the lived experience of children engaged in the process of space science inquiry? Through the methodology of phenomenological inquiry, the author investigates the essence of the lived…
Choi, Sanghee; Ramsey, John
This study examines inservice elementary school teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and practical knowledge toward inquiry-based science instruction and the influence of an inquiry-based elementary science course on teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and practical knowledge regarding inquiry. Both surveys and a case study were administered to the 14…
Yeneayhu, Demeke Gesesse
Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate how discourse-based inquiry science lessons provided opportunities for students to develop a network of semantic relations among core ideas and concepts in science. It was a naturalistic inquiry classroom lessons observation study on three science teachers--- a middle school science teacher and two high school physics teachers in an urban school district located in the Western New York region. Discourse and thematic analysis drawn from the theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics were utilized as guiding framework and analysis tools. Analysis of the pre-observation and post-observation interviews of the participant teachers revealed that all of the three teachers participated in at least one inquiry-based science teaching teacher professional development program and they all thought their classroom teaching practice was inquiry-based. Analysis of their classroom lesson videos that each participant teacher taught on a specific science topic revealed that the middle school teacher was found to be a traditional teacher-dominated classroom whereas the two high school physics teachers' classroom teaching approach was found to be discourse-based inquiry. One of the physics teachers who taught on a topic of Magnetic Interaction used relatively structured and guided-inquiry classroom investigations. The other physics teacher who taught on a topic of Color Mixing utilized open-ended classroom investigations where the students planned and executed the series of classroom science investigations with minimal guidance from the teacher. The traditional teacher-based classroom communicative pattern was found to be dominated by Triadic Dialogue and most of the science thematics were jointly developed by the teacher and the students, but the students' role was limited to providing responses to the teacher's series questions. In the guided-inquiry classroom, the common communicative pattern was found to be True Dialogue and most
Bumbacher, Engin; Salehi, Shima; Wierzchula, Miriam; Blikstein, Paulo
Studies comparing virtual and physical manipulative environments (VME and PME) in inquiry-based science learning have mostly focused on students' learning outcomes but not on the actual processes they engage in during the learning activities. In this paper, we examined experimentation strategies in an inquiry activity and their relation to…
Hermann, Ronald S.; Miranda, Rommel J.
This article provides an instructional approach to helping students generate open-inquiry research questions, which the authors call the "open-inquiry question template." This template was created based on their experience teaching high school science and preservice university methods courses. To help teachers implement this template, they…
National Institutes of Health, 2005
This curriculum supplement, from The NIH Curriculum Supplement Series, brings cutting-edge medical science and basic research discoveries from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) into classrooms. It was designed to complement existing life science curricula at both the state and local levels and to be consistent with the National Science…
Bolden, Marsha Gail
Some schools fall short of the high demand to increase science scores on state exams because low-performing students enter high school unprepared for high school science. Low-performing students are not successful in high school for many reasons. However, using inquiry methods have improved students' understanding of science concepts. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate the teachers' lived experiences with using inquiry methods to motivate low-performing high school science students in an inquiry-based program called Xtreem Science. Fifteen teachers were selected from the Xtreem Science program, a program designed to assist teachers in motivating struggling science students. The research questions involved understanding (a) teachers' experiences in using inquiry methods, (b) challenges teachers face in using inquiry methods, and (c) how teachers describe student's response to inquiry methods. Strategy of data collection and analysis included capturing and understanding the teachers' feelings, perceptions, and attitudes in their lived experience of teaching using inquiry method and their experience in motivating struggling students. Analysis of interview responses revealed teachers had some good experiences with inquiry and expressed that inquiry impacted their teaching style and approach to topics, and students felt that using inquiry methods impacted student learning for the better. Inquiry gave low-performing students opportunities to catch up and learn information that moved them to the next level of science courses. Implications for positive social change include providing teachers and school district leaders with information to help improve performance of the low performing science students.
A qualitative case study on the instructional practice of one secondary science teacher addresses the persistent reluctance of many science teachers to integrate the cultural resources and social practices of professional science communities into the science content they teach. The literature has shown that teachers' hesitation to implement a social and locally situated learning strategy curtails students' ability to draw upon the language of science necessary to co-construct and shape authentic science inquiry and in particular appropriate argument schemes. The study hypothesized that a teacher's dialogic facilitation of a particular social context and instructional practices enhances a students' ability to express verbally the claims and warrants that rise from evidence taken from their inquiries of natural phenomena. The study also tracks students' use of the Key Words and Ideas of this science curriculum for the purpose of assessing the degree of students' assimilation of these terms into their speech and written expressions of inquiry. The theoretical framework is Vygotskian (1978) and the analysis of the qualitative data is founded on Toulmin (1958), Walton (1996), Jimenez-Alexandre et al. (2000) and Shavelson (1996). The dialogic structure of this teacher's facilitation of student's science knowledge is shown to utilize students' presumptive statements to hone their construction of inductive or deductive arguments. This instructional practice may represent teacher-student activity within the zone of proximal development and supports Vygotsky's notion that a knowledgeable other is instrumental in transforming student's spontaneous talk into scientific speech. The tracking of the curriculum's Key Words and Ideas into students' speech and writing indicated that this teachers' ability to facilitate students' presumptuous reasoning into logic statements did not necessarily guarantee that they could post strong written expressions of this verbal know-how in
Forbes, Cory T.
Curriculum materials are important resources with which teachers make pedagogical decisions about the design of science learning environments. To become well-started beginning elementary teachers capable of engaging their students in inquiry-based science, preservice elementary teachers need to learn to use science curriculum materials…
Zwiep, Susan Gomez; Straits, William J.
This paper presents findings from a 4-year project that developed and implemented a blended inquiry science and English Language Development (ELD) program in a large urban California school district. The sample included over 2,000 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Participating students' English and science achievement was compared to a similar group of students who were using the district's established English language development curriculum. Student performance on statemandated English and science assessments were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U tests for overall performance and by number of years of treatment. Modest but statistically significant improvement was found for students who participated in the blended program. Results from this study suggest that restricting instructional minutes for science to provide additional time for ELD and English language arts may be unnecessary. Rather, allowing consistent time for science instruction that incorporates ELD instruction along with inquiry science experiences may provide the authentic and purposeful context students need to develop new language without restricting access to science content.
Finkel, L.; Varner, R.; Froburg, E.; Smith, M.; Graham, K.; Hale, S.; Laura, G.; Brown, D.; Bryce, J.; Darwish, A.; Furman, T.; Johnson, J.; Porter, W.; von Damm, K.
The Transforming Earth System Science Education (TESSE) project, a partnership between faculty at the University of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania State University, Elizabeth City State University and Dillard University, is designed to enrich the professional development of in-service and pre-service Earth science teachers. One goal of this effort is to help teachers use an inquiry-based approach to teaching Earth system science in their classrooms. As a part of the TESSE project, 42 pre-service and in-service teachers participated in an intensive two-week summer institute at UNH taught by Earth scientists and science educators from TESSE partnership institutions. The institute included instruction about a range of Earth science system topics as well as an introduction to teaching Earth science using an inquiry-based approach. In addition to providing teachers with information about inquiry-based science teaching in the form of sample lesson plans and opportunities to revise traditional lessons and laboratory exercises to make them more inquiry-based, TESSE instructors modeled an inquiry- based approach in their own teaching as much as possible. By the end of the Institute participants had developed lesson plans, units, or year-long course overviews in which they were expected to explain the ways in which they would include an inquiry-based approach in their Earth science teaching over the course of the school year. As a part of the project, graduate fellows (graduate students in the earth sciences) will work with classroom teachers during the academic year to support their implementation of these plans as well as to assist them in developing a more comprehensive inquiry-based approach in the classroom.
Krämer, Philipp; Nessler, Stefan H.; Schlüter, Kirsten
Background: Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) is suitable to teach scientific contents as well as to foster scientific skills. Similar conclusions are drawn by studies with respect to scientific literacy, motivational aspects, vocabulary knowledge, conceptual understandings, critical thinking, and attitudes toward science. Nevertheless, IBSE is rarely adopted in schools. Often barriers for teachers account for this lack, with the result that even good teachers struggle to teach science as inquiry. More importantly, studies indicate that several barriers and constraints could be ascribed to problems teacher students have at the university stage. Purpose: The purpose of this explorative investigation is to examine the problems teacher students have when teaching science through inquiry. In order to draw a holistic picture of these problems, we identified problems from three different points of view leading to the research question: What problems regarding IBSE do teacher students have from an objective, a subjective, and a self-reflective perspective? Design & method: Using video analysis and observation tools as well as qualitative content analysis and open questionnaires we identified problems from each perspective. Results: The objectively stated problems comprise the lack of essential features of IBSE especially concerning 'Supporting pupils' own investigations' and 'Guiding analysis and conclusions.' The subjectively perceived problems comprise concerns about 'Teachers' abilities' and 'Pupils' abilities,' 'Differentiated instruction' and institutional frame 'Conditions' while the self-reflectively noticed problems mainly comprise concerns about 'Allowing inquiry,' 'Instructional Aspects,' and 'Pupils' behavior.' Conclusions: Each of the three different perspectives provides plenty of problems, partially overlapping, partially complementing one another, and partially revealing completely new problems. Consequently, teacher educators have to consider these
Roehrig, Gillian; Luft, Julie
'Science as inquiry' is a key content standard in the "National Science Education Standards" to be enacted by US science teachers. This paper is the result of a study that was conducted in order to understand factors that impacted the inquiry-based instruction of 14 beginning secondary science teachers. These teachers were part of a collaborative…
Ford, Danielle J.; Fifield, Steve; Madsen, John; Qian, Xiaoyu
We describe the Science Semester, a semester-long course block that integrates three science courses and a science education methods course for elementary teacher education majors, and examine prospective elementary teachers' developing conceptions about inquiry, science teaching efficacy, and reflections on learning through inquiry. The…
Neureiter, Norman P.
For us at AAAS science diplomacy means the use of scientific cooperation as an active instrument of a foreign policy of engagement-particularly with countries where overall political relations are strained. Historic precedents are noted with Japan, the Soviet Union, and China. Recent experiences of our AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy are described-with Iran, Syria, Cuba, Burma (Myanmar), and North Korea. In this presentation I will explore cases and the key contributing factors that determine where it makes a difference, and where it is truly constructive.
Day, Martha; Stobaugh, Rebecca; Tassell, Janet; Neiman, Nicholas
This article discusses the resources available for teachers to apply higher-level thinking and cognitive complexity to their instruction and assessments. While designing higher-level assessments might be a challenging task, doing so not only can improve student achievement in science, it also prepares students for a changing world. Students learn…
Longo, Christopher M.
Mr. Smith and Ms. D'Amico are two veteran science teachers in a well-performing school district. Both teachers use weekly lab exercises and experiments as formative assessments. In their middle school classrooms, children are engaged and eager to learn. As students walk into Mr. Smith's classroom, a prescribed, step-by-step procedure of the day's…
Weller, Diana; Finkelstein, Carla
The authors' school's second-grade science curriculum has always focused on trees and their role in the ecosystem during the first half of the year. Curricular goals have largely emphasized what students ought to "know" by the end of the semester, such as identifying the parts of a tree, describing the process of photosynthesis, and creating a…
Kaelin, Mark; Huebner, Wendy
The recent worldwide SARS outbreak has put the science of epidemiology into the headlines once again. Epidemiology is "... the study of the distribution and the determinants of health-related states or events and the application of these methods to the control of health problems" (Gordis 2000). In this context, the authors have developed a…
Kang, Emily J. S.; Bianchini, Julie A.; Kelly, Gregory J.
Preservice science teachers face numerous challenges in understanding and teaching science as inquiry. Over the course of their teacher education program, they are expected to move from veteran science students with little experience learning their discipline through inquiry instruction to beginning science teachers adept at implementing inquiry…
Stwertka, C.; Blonquist, J.; Feener, D.
A major communication gap exists between climate scientists, educators, and society. As a result, findings from climate research, potential implications of climate change, and possible mitigation strategies are not fully understood and accepted outside of the climate science community. A good way to begin bridging the gap is to teach climate science to students in public schools. TGLL (Think Globally, Learn Locally) is an NSF GK-12 program based at the University of Utah, which partners graduate students in the biological, geological and atmospheric sciences with middle and high school teachers in the Salt Lake City School District to improve the communication skills of Fellows and enhance inquiry-based science teaching and learning in the classroom. Each TGLL Fellow works in the same classroom(s) throughout the year, developing his or her scientific communication skills while providing teachers with content knowledge, resources, classroom support, and enhancing the experience of students such that science becomes an interesting and accessible tool for acquiring knowledge. The TGLL Fellows work closely as a group to develop inquiry-based teaching modules (a series of lessons) and a field trip that involve students in doing authentic science. Lessons are designed to apply national and Utah core curriculum concepts to broader scientific issues such as habitat alteration, pollution and disturbance, invasive species, and infectious disease, with the focus of the 2010-2011 school year being climate change. The TGLL Global Climate Change module contains lesson plans on climate temporal and spatial scales, temperature variation, energy balance, the carbon cycle, the greenhouse effect, climate feedback loops, anthropogenic climate change indicators, climate change consequences and impacts, and actions students can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The capstone experience for the module is a “Backyard Climate Change” field trip to a local pristine canyon
Capobianco, Brenda M.
The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of three science teachers attempting to transform their practice by conducting action research on feminist science teaching. The teachers engaged in systematic, self-critical inquiry of their own practice and joined 8 other science teachers to engage in collaborative conversations about the…
McCann, Wendy Renee Sherman
This dissertation addresses three related tasks and issues in the larger field of science education. The first is to review of the several uses of "everydayness" at play in the science education literature, and in the education and social science literatures more generally. Four broad iterations of everydayness were found in science education, and these were traced and analyzed to develop their similarities, and contradictions. It was concluded that despite tendencies in science education research to suppose a fundamental demarcation either between professional science and everyday life, or between schools and everyday life, all social affairs, including professional science and activity in schools, are continuous with everyday life, and consist fundamentally in everyday, ordinary mundane actions which are ordered and organized by the participants to those social activities and occasions. The second task for this dissertation was to conduct a naturalistic, descriptive study of undergraduate-level physics laboratory activities from the analytic perspective of ethnomethodology. The study findings are presented as closely-detailed analysis of the students' methods of following their instructions and 'fitting' their observed results to a known scientific concept or principle during the enactment of their classroom laboratory activities. Based on the descriptions of students' practical work in following instructions and 'fitting'. The characterization of school science labs as an "experiment-demonstration hybrid" is developed. The third task of this dissertation was to synthesize the literature review and field study findings in order to clarify what science educators could productively mean by "everydayness", and to suggest what understandings of science education the study of everyday action recommends. It is argued that the significance of the 'experiment-demo hybrid' characterization must be seen in terms of an alternate program for science education research, which
Petty, Cailisha L.
This study used narrative inquiry as a methodology to explore the lived experiences of five African American women in science across the academic spectrum, from doctoral candidate to full professor. The research questions guiding the inquiry included one overarching question and three sub-questions: What are the lifestories of successful African American women in science?; a) How do successful African American women in science define themselves?; b) What have been the facilitators and barriers encountered by successful African American women in science?; and c) What have been the systems of support for African American women in science? The study was theoretically positioned within the frameworks of Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Thought. The two theories were used to guide all aspects of the study including methodology, data collection, and analysis. Data included eleven 40-60 minute semi-structured interview transcripts as well as the participants' Curriculum Vitae. The study design and data analysis were built upon Clandinin and Connelly's (2000) and Clandinin's (2006) model of narrative inquiry which explores narratives as a means to understand experience. Analysis and interpretation created three dominant narratives: Scientific Beginnings, An Unexpected Journey, and Lift as You Climb. Each narrative set explores multiple stories that describe storylines which aligned with the participants' goals of who they were and who they were becoming as scientists; and, storylines of tension which ran counter to the women's goals and aspirations. Barriers and support systems are revealed, as well as the meanings the participants made of their experiences and how it affected their lives.
Ucar, Sedat; Trundle, Kathy Cabe
Students are often unable to collect the real-time data necessary for conducting inquiry in science classrooms. Web-based, real-time data could, therefore, offer a promising tool for conducting scientific inquiries within classroom environments. This study used a quasi-experimental research design to investigate the effects of inquiry-based…
Friedrichsen, Patricia Meis; Munford, Danusa; Orgill, MaryKay
Using a theoretical perspective of communities of practice, this case study examines a prospective chemistry teacher's inquiry-based teaching during his practicum. Conrad was a former student of an inquiry-oriented science course, "Inquiry Empowering Technologies" (IET). The research questions were (a) How did Conrad translate the IET inquiry…
The South African science curriculum advocates an inquiry-based approach to practical work. Inquiry is a complex and multifaceted activity involving both cognitive and physical activity; thus, paper-and-pencil items do not provide the authentic context for this assessment. This study investigates the construct validity of inquiry-related questions…
Kang, Nam-Hwa; DeChenne, Sue Ellen; Smith, Grant
The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which high school students improved their inquiry capabilities in relation to scientific literacy through their experience of a problem-based environmental health science curriculum. The two inquiry capabilities studied were scientific questioning and approaches to inquiry into their own…
The author sought to investigate the effects of inquiry-based science instruction on science achievement and interest in science of 5,120 adolescents from 85 schools in Qatar. Results of hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed the substantial positive effects of science teaching and learning with a focus on model or applications and…
Raes, Annelies; Schellens, Tammy; De Wever, Bram
As secondary students' interest in science is decreasing, schools are faced with the challenging task of providing adequate instruction to engage students--and more particularly the disadvantaged students--to learn science and improve their science inquiry skills. In this respect, the integration of Web-based collaborative inquiry can be seen…
Duran, Lena Ballone; Duran, Emilio
The implementation of inquiry-based teaching is a major theme in national science education reform documents such as "Project 2061: Science for All Americans" (Rutherford & Alhgren, 1990) and the "National Science Education Standards" (NRC, 1996). These reports argue that inquiry needs to be a central strategy of all…
Ødegaard, Marianne; Haug, Berit; Mork, Sonja M.; Sørvik, Gard Ove
In the Budding Science and Literacy project, we explored how working with an integrated inquiry-based science and literacy approach may challenge and support the teaching and learning of science at the classroom level. By studying the inter-relationship between multiple learning modalities and phases of inquiry, we wished to illuminate possible…
Seraphin, Kanesa D.; Philippoff, Joanna; Kaupp, Lauren; Vallin, Lisa M.
The Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) philosophy is based on the belief that science should be taught and learned as it is practiced within the discipline of science education. TSI pedagogy uses a defined theoretical framework to counter the many vague misconceptions about inquiry. This framework a) acknowledges the multiple stages through which…
Rivera Maulucci, María S.; Brown, Bryan A.; Grey, Salina T.; Sullivan, Shayna
This study explores the experiences of six urban middle school students in an authentic science inquiry program. Drawing on data including teaching journal entries, student work folders, and semi-structured focus group interviews of six participants, the findings explore six dimensions of authentic science inquiry, an approach to science inquiry…
This study investigates the effects of an intensive 1-week Inquiry-Based Science and Technology Enrichment Program (InSTEP) designed for middle school-aged female students. InSTEP uses a guided/open inquiry approach that is deepened and redefined as eight sciences and engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards, which aimed at…
Loesing, Mary L.
Science education reform, including the recently released Next Generation Science Standards, places a clear emphasis on student learning through inquiry-based science instruction. Inquiry enables students to construct meaning and understanding based on their own experience and connected to prior knowledge. The factors that enhance and detract from suburban third, fourth and fifth grade teachers' ability to conduct inquirybased science investigations were examined through a qualitative case study. The availability of supplies and materials through science kits, student engagement in science, and teacher's enjoyment in teaching science were factors that enhanced teachers' ability to conduct inquiry. The teachers in this study believe in the importance of science instruction and carried out guided inquiries in their classrooms. Time required to implement the Common Core Learning Standards, new accountability policies; lack of preservice preparation and lack of professional development were factors that detracted from teachers' ability to conduct inquiry. In order to provide students and teachers with the time that is needed for inquiry-based science instruction, New York State is urged to mandate time for science instruction in the elementary curriculum. New York State must require that science content and methods courses be part of the curriculum in colleges and universities that grant degrees in elementary education. School districts must help their teachers by providing professional development that embeds science content with science and engineering practices so that teachers can help their students to build explanatory models, engage in argumentation, compare competing ideas and reach consensus. Keywords: Science education, inquiry, science instruction, accountability, STEM..
Gengarelly, Lara M.; Abrams, Eleanor D.
Teaching students how to conduct authentic scientific inquiry is an essential aspect of recent science education reform efforts. Our National Science Foundation-funded GK-12 program paired science graduate students—fellows—with secondary science teachers in order to enhance inquiry-based instruction. This research examined the roles of the fellows, teachers, and school culture in the implementation of inquiry and the fellows' conceptions of classroom inquiry versus that in their own research. Qualitative data were collected for two academic years. Overall, the classrooms shifted toward a more inquiry-oriented approach over the academic year. Several aspects of school culture influenced inquiry implementation. Fellows described their research as similar in overall structure but less constrained by known concepts, less guided by mentors, and more in-depth than that of secondary school students. The teacher-fellow scientist partnership is a potentially effective professional development model to create positive and lasting change within the science classroom.
Meyer, Xenia; Crawford, Barbara A.
Due to the growing number of students from populations underrepresented in the sciences, there is an intensified need to consider alternatives to traditional science instruction. Inquiry-based instructional approaches provide promise and possibility for engaging underrepresented students in the activities of science. However, inquiry-based…
An in-depth science inquiry is an ongoing investigation in which children are introduced to materials through hands-on experiences and, with teacher guidance, begin to investigate a question that they can answer through their own actions, observations, and with teacher-assisted research. Qualities that make an experience appropriate to include in…
This study explored the relation between pedagogical knowledge and subject-matter knowledge, in the context of inquiry-driven science instruction, and their relation to instructors' performance in the instructional process. This multiple case study focused on three distinct categories of teachers--Novice in Inquiry and in Science, Novice in Inquiry and Expert in Science, and Expert in Inquiry and in Science--and examined the commonalities and differences among them by exploring the cognitive processes these teachers used when planning and enacting an inquiry instructional situation, as well as when assessing students' learning resulting from this specific instructional event. Inquiry instruction varied across cases from largely structured to largely open. The Novice-Novice's science instruction, predominantly traditional in the approach, differed greatly from that of the Expert-Expert and of the Novice-Expert. The latter two emphasized--to various extents structured, guided, and open--inquiry strategy as part of their ongoing instruction. The open inquiry was an approach embraced solely by the Expert-Expert teacher throughout the Advanced Science Research instruction, emphasizing the creative aspect of problem generation. Edward teacher also distinguished himself from the other two participants in his view of planning and terminology used to describe it, both of which emphasized the dynamic and flexible feature of this instructional process. The Expert-Expert identified occasional planning, planning of specific skills and content critical to students' learning process during their independent inquiry. The observed teaching performance of the three participants partly reflected their planning; the alignment was least frequent for the Novice-Novice. The assessment of inquiry-based projects varied greatly across participants. Each teacher participant evaluated a set of three inquiry-based science projects that differed in their quality, and this variation increased
Nowicki, Barbara L.; Sullivan-Watts, Barbara; Shim, Minsuk K.; Young, Betty; Pockalny, Robert
Elementary teachers face increasing demands to engage children in authentic science process and argument while simultaneously preparing them with knowledge of science facts, vocabulary, and concepts. This reform is particularly challenging due to concerns that elementary teachers lack adequate science background to teach science accurately. This…
Zavidovique, Bertrand; Lo Bosco, Giosue'
pt. A. Information: data organization and communication. Statistical information: a Bayesian perspective / R. B. Stern, C. A. de B. Pereira. Multi-a(ge)nt graph patrolling and partitioning / Y. Elor, A. M. Bruckstein. The role of noise in brain function / S. Roy, R. Llinas. F-granulation, generalized rough entropy and image analysis / S. K. Pal. Fast redshift clustering with the Baire (ultra) metric / F. Murtagh, P. Contreras. Interactive classification oriented superresolution of multispectral images / P. Ruiz ... [et al.]. Blind processing in astrophysical data analysis / E. Salerno, L. Bedini. The extinction map of the orion molecular cloud / G. Scandariato (best student's paper), I. Pagano, M. Robberto -- pt. B. System: structure and behaviour. Common grounds: the role of perception in science and the nature of transitions / G. Bernroider. Looking the world from inside: intrinsic geometry of complex systems / L. Boi. The butterfly and the photon: new perspectives on unpredictability, and the notion of casual reality, in quantum physics / T. N. Palmer. Self-replicated wave patterns in neural networks with complex threshold / V. I. Nekorkin. A local explication of causation / G. Boniolo, R. Faraldo, A. Saggion. Evolving complexity, cognition, and consciousness / H. Liljenstrom. Self-assembly, modularity and physical complexity / S. E. Ahnert. The category of topological thermodynamics / R. M. Kiehn. Anti-phase spiking patterns / M. P. Igaev, A. S. Dmitrichev, V. I. Nekorkin -- pt. C. Data/system representation. Reality, models and representations: the case of galaxies, intelligence and avatars / J-C. Heudin. Astronomical images and data mining in the international virtual observatory context / F. Pasian, M. Brescia, G. Longo. Dame: a web oriented infrastructure for scientific data mining and exploration / S. Cavuoti ... [et al.]. Galactic phase spaces / D. Chakrabarty. From data to images: a shape based approach for fluorescence tomography / O. Dorn, K. E. Prieto
Schmidt, Kathleen M.
Thousands of middle school students participate in science competitions such as science fairs and Science Olympiad yearly, but little is known about the effects of their participation on their attitudes toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) coursework and careers. Even less is known about whether they increase students' understanding of the practices of scientific inquiry. In this study, 86 seventh-grade students from eight schools who participated in either science fair or Science Olympiad competitions were assessed regarding their attitudes toward STEM coursework and careers and the extent of their science inquiry skills. Quantitative data were collected through pre- and post- competition written assessments. Qualitative data were collected through post-competition focus groups. Both groups increased their understanding of science inquiry as a result of their participation in science competitions. Student attitudes toward STEM coursework and careers were generally positively influenced by their participation in science competitions. However, there was a subgroup of science fair participants for which the opposite was true. The strengths of Science Olympiad programs were the opportunities to study science topics on a deep level, to work with teammates, and to compete. However, there was little student choice at the schools studied because the coaches chose the teams and generally assigned students to particular Science Olympiad events. The level of science inquiry varied according to event. Strengths of the science fair programs were student choice regarding topics and a focus on science inquiry. However, the level of stress experienced by some students, and the negative attitudes toward science that resulted, called into question the appropriateness of engaging in a project of the length and complexity of a typical science fair project with this age group. Recommendations for Science Olympiad competitions are adding events that allow more
Stone, Elisa M
New approaches for teaching and assessing scientific inquiry and practices are essential for guiding students to make the informed decisions required of an increasingly complex and global society. The Science Skills approach described here guides students to develop an understanding of the experimental skills required to perform a scientific investigation. An individual teacher's investigation of the strategies and tools she designed to promote scientific inquiry in her classroom is outlined. This teacher-driven action research in the high school biology classroom presents a simple study design that allowed for reciprocal testing of two simultaneous treatments, one that aimed to guide students to use vocabulary to identify and describe different scientific practices they were using in their investigations-for example, hypothesizing, data analysis, or use of controls-and another that focused on scientific collaboration. A knowledge integration (KI) rubric was designed to measure how students integrated their ideas about the skills and practices necessary for scientific inquiry. KI scores revealed that student understanding of scientific inquiry increased significantly after receiving instruction and using assessment tools aimed at promoting development of specific inquiry skills. General strategies for doing classroom-based action research in a straightforward and practical way are discussed, as are implications for teaching and evaluating introductory life sciences courses at the undergraduate level.
Stone, Elisa M.
New approaches for teaching and assessing scientific inquiry and practices are essential for guiding students to make the informed decisions required of an increasingly complex and global society. The Science Skills approach described here guides students to develop an understanding of the experimental skills required to perform a scientific investigation. An individual teacher's investigation of the strategies and tools she designed to promote scientific inquiry in her classroom is outlined. This teacher-driven action research in the high school biology classroom presents a simple study design that allowed for reciprocal testing of two simultaneous treatments, one that aimed to guide students to use vocabulary to identify and describe different scientific practices they were using in their investigations—for example, hypothesizing, data analysis, or use of controls—and another that focused on scientific collaboration. A knowledge integration (KI) rubric was designed to measure how students integrated their ideas about the skills and practices necessary for scientific inquiry. KI scores revealed that student understanding of scientific inquiry increased significantly after receiving instruction and using assessment tools aimed at promoting development of specific inquiry skills. General strategies for doing classroom-based action research in a straightforward and practical way are discussed, as are implications for teaching and evaluating introductory life sciences courses at the undergraduate level. PMID:24591508
Rodriguez, Imelda; Bethel, Lowell J.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an inquiry approach to science and language teaching to further develop classification and oral communication skills of bilingual Mexican American third graders. A random sample consisting of 64 subjects was selected for experimental and control groups from a population of 120 bilingual Mexican American third graders. The Solomon Four-Group experimental design was employed. Pre- and posttesting was performed by use of the Goldstein-Sheerer Object Sorting Test, (GSOST) and the Test of Oral Communication Skills, (TOCS). The experimental group participated in a sequential series of science lessons which required manipulation of objects, exploration, peer interaction, and teacher-pupil interaction. The children made observations and comparisons of familiar objects and then grouped them on the basis of perceived and inferred attributes. Children worked individually and in small groups. Analysis of variance procedures was used on the posttest scores to determine if there was a significant improvement in classification and oral communication skills in the experimental group. The results on the posttest scores indicated a significant improvement at the 0.01 level for the experimental group in both classification and oral communication skills. It was concluded that participation in the science inquiry lessons facilitated the development of classification and oral communication skills of bilingual children.
Harrer, Benedikt W.; Flood, Virginia J.; Wittmann, Michael C.
We examine the types of emergent language eighth grade students in rural Maine middle schools use when they discuss energy in their first experiences with Project-Based Inquiry Science: Energy, a research-based curriculum that uses a specific language for talking about energy. By comparative analysis of the language used by the curriculum materials to students' language, we find that students' talk is at times more aligned with a Stores and Transfer model of energy than the Forms model supported by the curriculum.
Reiff, Rebecca R.
Science educators, philosophers, and pre-service teachers have contributed to conceptualizing inquiry but missing from the inquiry forum is an in-depth research study concerning science faculty conceptions of scientific inquiry. The science education literature has tended to focus on certain aspects of doing, teaching, and understanding scientific inquiry without linking these concepts. As a result, conceptions of scientific inquiry have been disjointed and are seemingly unrelated. Furthermore, confusion surrounding the meaning of inquiry has been identified as a reason teachers are not using inquiry in instruction (Welch et al., 1981). Part of the confusion surrounding scientific inquiry is it has been defined differently depending on the context (Colburn, 2000; Lederman, 1998; Shymansky & Yore, 1980; Wilson & Koran, 1976). This lack of a common conception of scientific inquiry is the reason for the timely nature of this research. The result of scientific journeys is not to arrive at a stopping point or the final destination, but to refuel with questions to drive the pursuit of knowledge. A three-member research team conducted Interviews with science faculty members using a semi-structured interview protocol designed to probe the subject's conceptions of scientific inquiry. The participants represented a total of 52 science faculty members from nine science departments (anthropology, biology, chemistry, geology, geography, school of health, physical education and recreation (HPER), medical sciences, physics, and school of environmental science) at a large mid-western research university. The method of analysis used by the team was grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990; Glaser & Strauss, 1967), in which case the frequency of concepts, patterns, and themes were coded to categorize scientists' conceptions of scientific inquiry. The results from this study address the following components: understanding and doing scientific inquiry, attributes of scientists engaged
Ødegaard, Marianne; Haug, Berit; Mork, Sonja M.; Ove Sørvik, Gard
In the Budding Science and Literacy project, we explored how working with an integrated inquiry-based science and literacy approach may challenge and support the teaching and learning of science at the classroom level. By studying the inter-relationship between multiple learning modalities and phases of inquiry, we wished to illuminate possible dynamics between science inquiry and literacy in an integrated science approach. Six teachers and their students were recruited from a professional development course for the current classroom study. The teachers were to try out the Budding Science teaching model. This paper presents an overall video analysis of our material demonstrating variations and patterns of inquiry-based science and literacy activities. Our analysis revealed that multiple learning modalities (read it, write it, do it, and talk it) are used in the integrated approach; oral activities dominate. The inquiry phases shifted throughout the students' investigations, but the consolidating phases of discussion and communication were given less space. The data phase of inquiry seems essential as a driving force for engaging in science learning in consolidating situations. The multiple learning modalities were integrated in all inquiry phases, but to a greater extent in preparation and data. Our results indicate that literacy activities embedded in science inquiry provide support for teaching and learning science; however, the greatest challenge for teachers is to find the time and courage to exploit the discussion and communication phases to consolidate the students' conceptual learning.
Conducts an action research investigation to determine which type of student benefits more from inquiry-based science laboratories. Designs two labs on diffusion and osmosis using both traditional and inquiry-based approaches and assesses student learning in these settings. (YDS)
Dalton, B; Morocco, C C; Tivnan, T; Mead, P L
Science education professionals generally agree that hands-on, inquiry-based science potentially benefits all students, yet there are few specific guidelines for helping students with learning disabilities (LD) achieve success in general education science classrooms. This study compared the effects of two approaches to hands-on science--supported inquiry science (SIS) and activity-based science--in six urban and two suburban fourth-grade general education classrooms. Participants included 172 students, 33 of whom had learning disabilities. The study found that students with and without LD demonstrated greater concept learning in the SIS classrooms, which focused on eliciting and reworking students' misconceptions and co-constructing knowledge under the guidance of a teacher-coach.
Gershon, Walter S.; Oded, Ben-Horin
Drawing from their respective work at the intersection of music and science, the coauthors argue that engaging in processes of making music can help students more deeply engage in the kinds of creativity associated with inquiry based science education (IBSE) and scientists better convey their ideas to others. Of equal importance, the processes of…
This project studied the effects of an inquiry-based, integrated science course on student science literacy. The course was aligned to state and national science standards. The target population consisted of sophomore, junior, and senior high-school students in an upper-middle class suburb of a major Midwestern city. Questionnaires, tests, and…
Page, Purlie M.
At the local level, G Middle School has the highest district-wide percentage of 6th grade science students who are not meeting standards. It is imperative that G middle school take corrective action to reduce the number of students failing to meet state science standards. Dewey's theory of conceptual framework, which involves knowledge constructed on a person's personal experience and mind activity through active forms of learning, guided this study. The goal of the study was to determine whether inquiry-based science modules produce greater 6th grade science achievement, as measured by an equivalent instrument of the science section of the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, when compared to traditional instruction among eastern Georgia 6th graders. The sample consisted of 230 students in the nonintervention group and 119 students in the intervention group. All students were from intact classes. At the end of the intervention, an independent t test was conducted to analyze the scores. According to the study t test, (t = 12.33, df = 304.56, p < 0.05), the difference between the means was statistically significant. This project's potential impact on social change includes increasing student motivation towards, comprehension of, and interest in science concepts. At the local level, these inquiry lessons can be shared with science teachers across grade levels and within the district to improve county-wide science scores. An increase in student interest and comprehension of science concepts could ultimately lead to the United States producing more students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
Weiland, Sunny Minelli
This study implemented a qualitative approach to examine the phenomenon of "inquiry-based science pedagogy or inquiry instruction" as it has been experienced by individuals. Data was collected through online open-ended surveys, focus groups, and teacher reported self-reflections to answer the research questions: 1) How do middle level science teachers conceptualize "inquiry-based instruction?" 2) What are preferred instructional strategies for implementation in middle level science classrooms? And 3) How do middle level science teachers perceive the connection between science instruction and student learning? The participants within this research study represent 33 percent of teachers in grades 5 through 9 within six school districts in northeastern Pennsylvania. Of the 12 consent forms originally obtained, 10 teachers completed all three phases of the data collection, including the online survey, participation in focus groups, and teacher self-reflection. 60 percent of the participants taught only science, and 40 percent taught all content areas. Of the ten participants, 50 percent were certified teachers of science and 50 percent were certified as teachers of elementary education. 70 percent of the research participants reflected having obtained a master's, with 60 percent of these degrees being received in areas of education, and 10 percent in the area of science. The research participants have a total of 85 collective years of experience as professional educators, with the average years of experience being 8.5 years. Analysis of data revealed three themes related to research question #1) How do middle-level science teachers conceptualize inquiry-based instruction? and sub-question #1) How do middle-level science teachers characterize effective instruction? The themes that capture the essence of teachers' formulation of inquiry-based instruction that emerged in this study were student centered, problem solving, and hands-on . Analysis of data revealed one theme
Since the publication of the National Science Education Standards in 1996, learning science through inquiry has been regarded as the heart of science education. However, the TIMSS 1999 Video Study showed that inquiry-based teaching has been taking place less in the United States than in Japan. This study examined similarities and differences in how Japanese and American middle-school science teachers think and feel about inquiry-based teaching. Teachers' attitudes toward the use of inquiry in science teaching were measured through a survey instrument (N=191). Teachers' understanding of inquiry-based teaching was examined through interviews and classroom observations in the United States (N=9) and Japan (N=15). The results show that in spite of the variations in teachers' definitions of inquiry-based teaching, teachers in both countries strongly agree with the idea of inquiry-based teaching. However, little inquiry-based teaching was observed in either of the countries for different reasons. The data indicate that Japanese teachers did not generally help students construct their own understanding of scientific concepts in spite of well-planned lesson structures and activity set-ups. On the other hand, the observational data indicate that American teachers often lacked meaningful science content in spite of their high level of pedagogical knowledge. The need for addressing the importance of scientific concepts in teacher preparation programs in higher education institutions in the US is advocated. To the Japanese science education community, the need for teachers' acquisition of instructional strategies for inquiry-based teaching is strongly addressed.
Hadzigeorgiou, Yannis; Garganourakis, Vassilios
This paper reports on an action research project undertaken with the primary aim of investigating the extent to which situations that evoke a sense of wonder can promote scientific inquiry. Given the intense interest, curiosity, and wonder that some students had begun to develop after seeing the film "The Prestige", a science teacher used this…
Clark-Thomas, Beth Anne
Elementary school students' understanding of both science content and processes are enhanced by the higher level thinking associated with inquiry-based science investigations. Informal science setting personnel, elementary school teachers, and curriculum specialists charged with designing inquiry-based investigations would be well served by an understanding of the varying influence of certain present factors upon the students' willingness and ability to delve into such higher level inquiries. This study examined young children's use of inquiry-based materials and factors which may influence the level of inquiry they engaged in during informal science activities. An informal science setting was selected as the context for the examination of student inquiry behaviors because of the rich inquiry-based environment present at the site and the benefits previously noted in the research regarding the impact of informal science settings upon the construction of knowledge in science. The study revealed several patterns of behavior among children when they are engaged in inquiry-based activities at informal science exhibits. These repeated behaviors varied in the children's apparent purposeful use of the materials at the exhibits. These levels of inquiry behavior were taxonomically defined as high/medium/low within this study utilizing a researcher-developed tool. Furthermore, in this study adult interventions, questions, or prompting were found to impact the level of inquiry engaged in by the children. This study revealed that higher levels of inquiry were preceded by task directed and physical feature prompts. Moreover, the levels of inquiry behaviors were haltered, even lowered, when preceded by a prompt that focused on a science content or concept question. Results of this study have implications for the enhancement of inquiry-based science activities in elementary schools as well as in informal science settings. These findings have significance for all science educators
In this study, the participants conceptualized and implemented an action research project that focused on the infusion of inquiry principles into a neglected science curriculum. Specific objectives were to find (a) What factors challenge and support the evolution of an action research community of practice? (b) How are teachers' beliefs about…
Krajcik, Joseph; Marx, Ron; Blumenfeld, Phyllis; Soloway, Elliot; Fishman, Barry
Inquiry is an essential component of science. Furthermore, what students learn and how they engage in inquiry supported by technology is important to understand in order to promote science education reform. This paper presents an overview of work in curriculum and technology development and professional development. Collaboration with the Detroit…
Gutwill, Joshua P.; Allen, Sue
Field trips to science museums can provide students with educational experiences, particularly when museum programs emphasize scientific inquiry skill building over content knowledge acquisition. We describe the creation and study of 2 programs designed to significantly enhance students' inquiry skills at any interactive science museum exhibit…
Nelson, Tamara Holmlund
Inquiry-based research is recommended as a method for helping more students understand the nature of science as well as learn the substance of scientific knowledge, yet there is much to learn about how teachers might adapt inquiry for science teaching and what teachers need to know in order to do this. This case study of an exemplary teacher's…
Apedoe, Xornam S.; Reeves, Thomas C.
The purpose of this paper is twofold: to describe robust rationales for integrating inquiry-based learning into undergraduate science education, and to propose that digital libraries are potentially powerful technological tools that can support inquiry-based learning goals in undergraduate science courses. Overviews of constructivism and situated…
Tseng, Chung-Hsien; Tuan, Hsiao-Lin; Chin, Chi-Chin
This study has two purposes: the first is to explore experienced science teachers' perspectives on inquiry teaching, and the second is to categorize these perspectives into patterns. Fifteen junior high school science teachers experienced at inquiry teaching were selected, and a semi-structured interview was conducted to collect the teachers'…
Horton, Robert M.; Leonard, William H.
In science, inquiry is used as students explore important and interesting questions concerning the world around them. In mathematics, one contemporary inquiry approach is to create models that describe real phenomena. Creating mathematical models using spreadsheets can help students learn at deep levels in both science and mathematics, and give…
Feldman, Allan; Chapman, Angela; Vernaza-Hernandez, Vanessa; Ozalp, Dilek; Alshehri, Fayez
The article provides the basis for a model of inquiry-based science education in which K-12 teachers' and pupils' engage in authentic science experiences as participants of a scientific research project, which we refer to as Multiple Outcome Interdisciplinary Research and Learning (MOIRL). We provide the basis for the model for inquiry based…
Haefner, Leigh A.; Friedrichsen, Patricia Meis; Zembal-Saul, Carla
The National Science Education Standards (National Research Council [NRC], 1996) call for a greater emphasis on scientific inquiry in K-12 science classes. The Inquiry Standards recommend that students be engaged with scientific questions in which they collect and interpret data, give priority to evidence to construct explanations, test those…
This set of botany demonstrations is a continuation of the inquiry-based lecture activities that provide realistic connections to the history and nature of science and employ technology in data collection. The demonstrations also provide examples of inquiry-based teaching practices in the life sciences. (Contains 5 figures.) [For Part 1, see…
Ozel, Murat; Luft, Julie A.
This study investigates the conceptions and use of inquiry during classroom instruction among beginning secondary science teachers. The 44 participants were beginning secondary science teachers in their first year of teaching. In order to capture the participants' conceptions of inquiry, the teachers were interviewed and observed during the…
Saad, Rayana; BouJaoude, Saouma
The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between teachers' attitudes toward science, knowledge and beliefs about inquiry, and science classroom teaching practices. Specifically, the study addressed three questions: What are teachers' beliefs and knowledge about inquiry? What are teachers' teaching related classroom practices? Do…
Liang, Ling L.; Richardson, Greer M.
This study examined the impact of a recently revised science course that engaged preservice teachers in a scaffolded, student-directed inquiry unit on local streams. Upon the completion of the inquiry project, the teacher candidates in the stream study classes demonstrated significantly greater improvement in the personal science teaching efficacy…
Liu, Ou Lydia; Lee, Hee-Sun; Linn, Marcia C.
Teachers play a central role in inquiry science classrooms. In this study, we investigate how seven teacher variables (i.e., gender, experience, perceived importance of inquiry and traditional teaching, workshop attendance, partner teacher, use of technology) affect student knowledge integration understanding of science topics drawing on previous…
Lyons, Daniel J.
This study explored the impact of a novel inquiry-based astronomy laboratory curriculum designed using the Backwards Faded Scaffolding inquiry teaching framework on non-science majoring undergraduate students' views of the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). The study focused on two aspects of NOSI: The Distinction between Data and Evidence…
Norton-Meier, Lori A.; Hand, Brian; Ardasheva, Yuliya
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe teaching actions--embedded in the "Science Writing Heuristic approach," a systematic teaching approach that integrates literacy instruction and argument-based inquiry learning of science--supportive of the cross-disciplinary literacy expectations necessary to compete in the 21st century. This…
Norton-Meier, Lori A.; Hand, Brian; Ardasheva, Yuliya
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe teaching actions--embedded in the "Science Writing Heuristic" approach, a systematic teaching approach that integrates literacy instruction and argument-based inquiry learning of science--supportive of the cross-disciplinary literacy expectations necessary to compete in the 21st…
Peffer, Melanie E.; Beckler, Matthew L.; Schunn, Christian; Renken, Maggie; Revak, Amanda
Science education is progressively more focused on employing inquiry-based learning methods in the classroom and increasing scientific literacy among students. However, due to time and resource constraints, many classroom science activities and laboratory experiments focus on simple inquiry, with a step-by-step approach to reach predetermined outcomes. The science classroom inquiry (SCI) simulations were designed to give students real life, authentic science experiences within the confines of a typical classroom. The SCI simulations allow students to engage with a science problem in a meaningful, inquiry-based manner. Three discrete SCI simulations were created as website applications for use with middle school and high school students. For each simulation, students were tasked with solving a scientific problem through investigation and hypothesis testing. After completion of the simulation, 67% of students reported a change in how they perceived authentic science practices, specifically related to the complex and dynamic nature of scientific research and how scientists approach problems. Moreover, 80% of the students who did not report a change in how they viewed the practice of science indicated that the simulation confirmed or strengthened their prior understanding. Additionally, we found a statistically significant positive correlation between students’ self-reported changes in understanding of authentic science practices and the degree to which each simulation benefitted learning. Since SCI simulations were effective in promoting both student learning and student understanding of authentic science practices with both middle and high school students, we propose that SCI simulations are a valuable and versatile technology that can be used to educate and inspire a wide range of science students on the real-world complexities inherent in scientific study. PMID:25786245
Peffer, Melanie E; Beckler, Matthew L; Schunn, Christian; Renken, Maggie; Revak, Amanda
Science education is progressively more focused on employing inquiry-based learning methods in the classroom and increasing scientific literacy among students. However, due to time and resource constraints, many classroom science activities and laboratory experiments focus on simple inquiry, with a step-by-step approach to reach predetermined outcomes. The science classroom inquiry (SCI) simulations were designed to give students real life, authentic science experiences within the confines of a typical classroom. The SCI simulations allow students to engage with a science problem in a meaningful, inquiry-based manner. Three discrete SCI simulations were created as website applications for use with middle school and high school students. For each simulation, students were tasked with solving a scientific problem through investigation and hypothesis testing. After completion of the simulation, 67% of students reported a change in how they perceived authentic science practices, specifically related to the complex and dynamic nature of scientific research and how scientists approach problems. Moreover, 80% of the students who did not report a change in how they viewed the practice of science indicated that the simulation confirmed or strengthened their prior understanding. Additionally, we found a statistically significant positive correlation between students' self-reported changes in understanding of authentic science practices and the degree to which each simulation benefitted learning. Since SCI simulations were effective in promoting both student learning and student understanding of authentic science practices with both middle and high school students, we propose that SCI simulations are a valuable and versatile technology that can be used to educate and inspire a wide range of science students on the real-world complexities inherent in scientific study.
Dockers, Jean E.
A This study attempted to close gaps in the literature with regards to implementation of inquiry practices in secondary science classrooms. In addition, the areas and ways in which practice ties to beliefs and experiences in the area of inquiry were examined. This study introduces an instrument that could be used to assess teachers' attitudes and beliefs about inquiry teaching practices and potential barriers to teaching science using an inquiry approach. Because the efficacy of reform efforts rests largely with teachers, their voices need to be included in the design and implementation of inquiry---based curriculum. This study helps to clarify the need for future research to examine inquiry as a pedagogical approach. If we desire pre-service teachers to teach using an inquiry approach when they have their own classrooms, they must know how to plan, implement, and assess inquiry science lessons, not just have experienced "inquiry lessons" as a student. One unique finding in this study was in the area of licensure and teaching style. Other studies found that in general traditionally licensed teachers felt better prepared to teach. This study found that participants who were alternatively certified incorporated characteristics of inquiry less often than those with traditional certification. This indicates that more research is needed in the area of certification and the affect it may have on quality of instruction for specific content areas like science.
Nicolaides, Aliki; Dzubinski, Leanne
Life in the 21st century is increasingly complex, paradoxical, and ambiguous, bringing into question the ways that graduate adult education programs function. In this article, we describe an action research study involving the method of collaborative developmental action inquiry conducted with key stakeholders of a program in adult education at a…
Harris, Christopher J.; Rooks, Deborah L.
Effectively enacting inquiry-based science instruction entails considerable changes in classroom management practices. In this article, we describe five interconnected management areas that need to be addressed when managing an inquiry-oriented K-8 science classroom. We introduce a pyramid model as a framework for thinking about these management…
The interactive science notebook (ISN) is a perfect opportunity for science educators to encapsulate and promote the most cutting-edge constructivist teaching strategies while simultaneously addressing standards, differentiation of instruction, literacy development, and maintenance of an organized notebook as laboratory and field scientists do.…
As a result of declining scores, the National Science Foundation has funded numerous materials-development grants. Largest among these is the Interactive Media Science (IMS) Project at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. This project's mandate is to design, develop, and produce six level III interactive videodisc programs for middle…
Tzou, Carrie Teh-Li
Science education reform emphasizes learning science through inquiry as a way to engage students in the processes of science at the same time that they learn scientific concepts. However, inquiry involves practices that are challenging for students because they have underlying norms with which students may be unfamiliar. We therefore cannot expect students to know how to engage in such practices simply by giving them opportunities to do so, especially if the norms for inquiry practices violate traditional classroom norms for engaging with scientific ideas. Teachers therefore play a key role in communicating expectations for inquiry. In this dissertation, I present an analytical framework for characterizing two teachers' enactments of an inquiry curriculum. This framework, based on Gee's (1996) notion of Discourses, describes inquiry practices in terms of three dimensions: cognitive, social, and linguistic. I argue that each of these dimensions presents challenges to students and, therefore, sites at which teachers' support is important for students' participation in inquiry practices. I use this framework to analyze two teachers' support of inquiry practices as they enact an inquiry-based curriculum. I explore three questions in my study: (1) what is the nature of teachers' support of inquiry practices? (2) how do teachers accomplish goals along multiple dimensions of inquiry?, and (3) what aspects of inquiry are in tension and how can we describe teachers' practice in terms of the tradeoff spaces between elements of inquiry in tension? In order to study these questions, I studied two eighth grade teachers who both enacted the same inquiry-based science curriculum developed by me and others in the context of a large design-based research project called IQWST (Investigating and Questioning my World through Science and Technology. I found that the teachers provided support for inquiry along all three dimensions, sometimes in ways in which the dimensions were
Meis Friedrichsen, Patricia; Munford, Danusa; Orgill, Marykay
Using a theoretical perspective of communities of practice, this case study examines a prospective chemistry teacher's inquiry-based teaching during his practicum. Conrad was a former student of an inquiry-oriented science course, Inquiry Empowering Technologies (IET). The research questions were (a) How did Conrad translate the IET inquiry practices during his practicum?; (b) How did the mentor teacher shape Conrad's participation?; (c) In what ways did Conrad negotiate new meanings of inquiry as a result of his practicum? Interview transcripts were the primary data source. Conrad carried many of the IET inquiry practices into his practicum. He equated inquiry with the use of evidence and had students create evidence-based explanations for how soap works. He chose not to incorporate the tentative nature of science. Although traditional in his own teaching, the mentor teacher supported Conrad by allowing him to teach through inquiry and by removing time constraints. As a result of his practicum, Conrad negotiated new meanings of inquiry teaching and developed an expanded view of technology. Conrad believed that high school students needed guidance when engaging in inquiry and that the tentative nature of science does not transfer to secondary chemistry. Implications for theory and practice are given.
Gejda, Linda Muggeo
The purpose of this quantitative investigation was to describe the extent to which secondary science teachers, who were certified through Connecticut's BEST portfolio assessment process between 1997 and 2004 and had taught secondary science during the past academic year, reported practicing the indicators of inquiry-based instruction in the classroom and the factors that they perceived facilitated, obstructed, or informed that practice. Indicators of inquiry-based instruction were derived from the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) 5E model (Bybee, 1997). The method for data collection was a researcher-developed, self-report, questionnaire entitled "Inquiry-based Instruction in Secondary Science Classrooms: A Survey", which was developed and disseminated using a slightly modified Dillman (2000) approach. Almost all of the study participants reported practicing the 5Es (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate) of inquiry-based instruction in their secondary science classrooms. Time, resources, the need to cover material for mandatory assessments, the science topics or concepts being taught, and professional development on inquiry-based instruction were reported to be important considerations in participants' decisions to practice inquiry-based instruction in their science classrooms. A majority of the secondary science teachers participating in this study indicated they had the time, access to resources and the professional development opportunities they needed to practice inquiry-based instruction in their secondary classrooms. Study participants ranked having the time to teach in an inquiry-based fashion and the need to cover material for mandated testing as the biggest obstacles to their practice of inquiry-based instruction in the secondary classroom. Classroom experience and collegial exchange informed the inquiry-based instruction practice of the secondary science teachers who participated in this study. Recommendations for further research
Capps, Daniel K.; Shemwell, Jonathan T.; Young, Ashley M.
Science education reforms worldwide call on teachers to engage students in investigative approaches to instruction, like inquiry. Studies of teacher self-reported enactment indicate that inquiry is used frequently in the classroom, suggesting a high level of proficiency with inquiry that would be amenable to inquiry reform. However, it is unclear…
Apedoe, Xornam S.; Reeves, Thomas C.
The purpose of this paper is twofold: to describe robust rationales for integrating inquiry-based learning into undergraduate science education, and to propose that digital libraries are potentially powerful technological tools that can support inquiry-based learning goals in undergraduate science courses. Overviews of constructivism and situated cognition are provided with regard to how these two theoretical perspectives have influenced current science education reform movements, especially those that involve inquiry-based learning. The role that digital libraries can play in inquiry-based learning environments is discussed. Finally, the importance of alignment among critical pedagogical dimensions of an inquiry-based pedagogical framework is stressed in the paper, and an example of how this can be done is presented using earth science education as a context.
Atar, Hakan Yavuz
Creating a scientifically literate society appears to be the major goal of recent science education reform efforts (Abd-El-Khalick, Boujaoude, Dushl, Lederman, Hofstein, Niaz, Tregust, & Tuan, 2004). Recent national reports in the U.S, such as Shaping the Future, New Expectations for Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (NSF,1996), Inquiry in Science and In Classroom, Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 2001), Pursuing excellence: Comparison of international eight-grade mathematics and science achievement from a U.S. perspective (NCES, 2001), and Standards for Science Teacher Preparation (NSTA 2003) appear to agree on one thing: the vision of creating a scientifically literate society. It appears from science education literature that the two important components of being a scientifically literate individual are developing an understanding of nature of science and ability to conduct scientific inquiries. Unfortunately, even though teaching science through inquiry has been recommended in national reports since the 1950's, it has yet to find its way into many science classrooms (Blanchard, 2006; Yerrick, 2000). Science education literature identfies several factors for this including: (1) lack of content knowledge (Anderson, 2002; Lee, Hart Cuevas, & Enders, 2004; Loucks-Horsely, Hewson, Love, & Stiles, 1998; Moscovici, 1999; Smith & Naele, 1989; Smith, 1989); (2) high stake tests (Aydeniz, 2006); (3) teachers' conflicting beliefs with inquiry-based science education reform (Blanchard, 2006; Wallace & Kang, 2004); and, (4) lack of collaboration and forums for communication (Anderson, 2002; Davis, 2003; Loucks-Horsely, Hewson, Love, & Stiles, 1998; Wallace & Kang, 2004). In addition to the factors stated above this study suggest that some of the issues and problems that have impeded inquiry instruction to become the primary approach to teaching science in many science classrooms might be related to
Oh, Phil Seok
Collaborative action research was undertaken over two years between a Korean science teacher and science education researchers at the University of Iowa. For the purpose of realizing science learning as envisioned by constructivist principles, Group-Investigations were implemented three or five times per project year. In addition, the second year project enacted Peer Assessments among students. Student perceptions of their science classrooms, as measured by the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES), provided evidence that the collaborative action research was successful in creating constructivist learning environments. Student attitudes toward science lessons, as examined by the Enjoyment of Science Lessons Scale (ESLS), indicated that the action research also contributed to developing more positive attitudes of students about science learning. Discourse analysis was conducted on video-recordings of in-class presentations and discussions. The results indicated that students in science classrooms which were moving toward constructivist learning environments engaged in such discursive practices as: (1) Communicating their inquiries to others, (2) Seeking and providing information through dialogues, and (3) Negotiating conflicts in their knowledge and beliefs. Based on these practices, science learning was viewed as the process of constructing knowledge and understanding of science as well as the process of engaging in scientific inquiry and discourse. The teacher's discursive practices included: (1) Wrapping up student presentations, (2) Addressing misconceptions, (3) Answering student queries, (4) Coaching, (5) Assessing and advising, (6) Guiding students discursively into new knowledge, and (7) Scaffolding. Science teaching was defined as situated acts of the teacher to facilitate the learning process. In particular, when the classrooms became more constructivist, the teacher intervened more frequently and carefully in student activities to fulfill a
Pearce, Charles R.
This book provides guidance to teachers on the integration of inquiry into teaching, creating meaningful challenges, and opportunities to experience scientific methodology. The book is divided into three sections: (1) "Lighting the Fire: Getting Inquiry Under Way"; (2) "Tending the Fire: Sustaining Inquiry Throughout the Year"; and (3)…
Jackson, Diann Carol
This study examined the effect of concept mapping as a method of stimulating reflection on preservice elementary teachers' knowledge of science inquiry instruction methods. Three intact classes of science education preservice teachers participated in a non-randomized comparison group with a pretest and posttest design to measure the influence of mapping on participants' knowledge of inquiry science instruction. All groups followed the same course syllabus, in class activities, readings, assignments and assessment tasks. The manner in which they presented their ideas about inquiry science teaching varied. Groups constructed pre-lesson, post-lesson, and homework lists or maps across three inquiry based instruction modules (ecosystems, food chains, and electricity). Equivalent forms of the Teaching Science Inventory (TSI) were used to investigate changes in preservice teachers' propositional knowledge about how to teach using inquiry science instruction methods. Equivalent forms of the Science Lesson Planning (SLP) test were used to investigate changes in preservice teachers' application knowledge about how to teach using inquiry science instruction methods. Data analysis included intrarater reliability, ANOVAs, ANCOVAs, and correlations between lists and maps and examination responses. SLP and TSI scores improved from the pretest to the posttest in each of the three study groups. The results indicate that, in general, there were basically no relationships between the treatment and outcome measures. In addition, there were no significant differences between the three groups in their knowledge about how to teach science. Conclusions drawn from this study include, first, the learners did learn how to teach science using inquiry. Second, in this study there is little evidence to support that concept mapping was more successful than the listing strategy in improving preservice elementary teachers' knowledge of teaching science using inquiry science instruction methods.
This paper outlines the rationale underpinning the conception of science education as sociopolitical action, and then presents a critique of such a conception from the perspective of liberal education. More specifically, the paper discusses the importance of the conception of science education as sociopolitical action (e.g., it can provide students with opportunities to link school and society, it can offer them opportunities for more meaningful experiences, and it can also empower them as citizens) and then raises questions about the content of school science, about the place and value of scientific inquiry, and about the opportunities students have for self-directed inquiry. The central idea behind the critique is that a conception of science education as sociopolitical action downplays the importance of knowledge for its own sake and totally neglects the personal/aesthetic dimension of science.
Castle, Margaret Ann
A number of reports have raised a concern that the U.S. is not meeting the demands of 21st century skill preparation of students, teachers, and practitioners in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In 2005 and 2006 five reports were released indicating a need for improvement in science and mathematics education in the U.S. The reports were: Keeping America Competitive: Five Strategies To Improve Mathematics and Science Education (Coble & Allen, 2005); National Defense Education and Innovation Initiative: Meeting America's Economic and Security Challenges in the 21st Century (The Association of American Universities, 2006); Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (National Academies Press, 2007); Tapping America's Potential: The Education for Innovation Initiative (Business Roundtable Taskforce , 2005); and Waiting for Sputnik: Basic Research and Strategic Competition (Lewis, 2005). Consensus of data in these reports indicates that the U.S., as compared to other industrialized nations, does not fare very well in science achievement and STEM degree attainment. For example, on the 2003 Program for International Assessment (PISA), 15-year-old students in the U.S. ranked 28th in math and 24th in science literacy (Kuenzi, Matthews, & Mangon, 2006). Furthermore, the U.S. ranked 20th among all nations in the proportion of 24-year-olds who earned degrees in natural sciences or engineering (Kuenzi, 2008). As a result, if the U.S. is to remain scientifically and technologically competitive in the world, it is necessary to increase our efforts to incorporate scientific practices associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into the science classroom. Middle school is a critical point in students' science education and it is in middle school that they begin to dislike science. Research indicates that when students learn science through inquiry their interest in and
Keys, Carolyn W.; Bryan, Lynn A.
In this article we assert a potential research agenda for the teaching and learning of science as inquiry as part of the JRST series on reform in science education. Drawing on the theoretical frameworks of cognitive and sociocultural constructivism, cultural models of meaning, the dialogic function of language, and transformational models of teacher education, we propose that more research is needed in the areas of teachers' beliefs, knowledge, and practices of inquiry-based science, as well as, student learning. Because the efficacy of reform efforts rest largely with teachers, their voices need to be included in the design and implementation of inquiry-based curriculum. As we review the literature and pose future research questions, we propose that particular attention be paid to research on inquiry in diverse classrooms, and to modes of inquiry-based instruction that are designed by teachers.
Traeger, James; Norgate, Carolyn
This is an account of practice. It explores the meeting point between action learning and action research, as a way of doing capacity building in organisational development (OD) in the NHS in the UK. The authors were part of a short cooperative inquiry (Heron, J. 1996. "Co-operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition." London:…
Kang, Emily J. S.; Bianchini, Julie A.; Kelly, Gregory J.
Preservice science teachers face numerous challenges in understanding and teaching science as inquiry. Over the course of their teacher education program, they are expected to move from veteran science students with little experience learning their discipline through inquiry instruction to beginning science teachers adept at implementing inquiry in their own classrooms. In this study, we used Aikenhead's (Sci Educ 81: 217-238, 1997, Science Educ 85:180-188, 2001) notion of border crossing to describe this transition preservice teachers must make from science student to science teacher. We examined what one cohort of eight preservice secondary science teachers said, did, and wrote as they both conducted a two-part inquiry investigation and designed an inquiry lesson plan. We conducted two types of qualitative analyses. One, we drew from Costa (Sci Educ 79: 313-333, 1995) to group our preservice teacher participants into one of four types of potential science teachers. Two, we identified successes and struggles in preservice teachers' attempts to negotiate the cultural border between veteran student and beginning teacher. In our implications, we argue that preservice teachers could benefit from explicit opportunities to navigate the border between learning and teaching science; such opportunities could deepen their conceptions of inquiry beyond those exclusively fashioned as either student or teacher.
Bruce, Susan M.; Pine, Gerald J.
This is the first book about action research devoted to the complex issues faced by children with disabilities and their teachers. The authors begin by providing the historical and philosophical underpinnings of action research and then present a framework for conducting action research in special education. In addition, they feature four examples…
Capps, Daniel K.; Crawford, Barbara A.
Anecdotal accounts from science educators suggest that few teachers are teaching science as inquiry. However, there is little empirical evidence to support this claim. This study aimed to provide evidence-based documentation of the state-of-use of inquiry-based instruction and explicit instruction about nature of science (NOS). We examined the teaching practice and views of inquiry and NOS of 26, well-qualified and highly motivated 5th-9th-grade teachers from across the country in order to establish the extent to which their views and practice aligned with ideas in reform-based documents. We used a mixed-methods approach analyzing lesson descriptions, classroom observations, videotape data, questionnaires, and interviews to assess teaching practice and views of inquiry and NOS of these teachers. We also determined the relationships between teachers' views and their teaching practice. Findings indicated the majority of these teachers held limited views of inquiry-based instruction and NOS. In general, these views were reflected in their teaching practice. Elements of inquiry including abilities, understandings, and essential features were observed or described in less than half the classrooms. Most commonly, teachers focused on basic abilities to do inquiry instead of the essential features or important understandings about inquiry. When aspects of inquiry were present, they were generally teacher-initiated. There was also little evidence of aspects of NOS in teachers' instruction. This study provides empirical evidence for the claim that even some of the best teachers currently struggle to enact reformed-based teaching. Further, it highlights the critical need for an agreement upon definition of inquiry-based instruction and the need to develop appropriate and feasible assessments that specifically target inquiry to track changes in teachers' views and practice. Important implications include the heightened need for rigorous and continuous professional development
Morrison, Judith A.; Young, Terrell A.
Students can imitate scientists at work by conducting inquiry investigations in the classroom, thereby exhibiting a multitude of skills and competencies. As stated by Bransford and Donovan (2005), learning science as a process of inquiry involves students in observation, imagination, and reasoning about the phenomena under investigation. Rather…
Thompson, Stephen L.
In this article, the author presents and discusses activities that use a phenomena-first, guided inquiry approach to teach important concepts related to plant function, as well as the history and nature of scientific inquiry. These activities are intended for use with students in grades 3-8, as well as in elementary science methods courses. The…
Aydeniz, Mehmet; Cihak, David F.; Graham, Shannon C.; Retinger, Larryn
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of inquiry-based science instruction for five elementary students with learning disabilities (LD). Students participated in a series of inquiry-based activities targeting conceptual and application-based understanding of simple electric circuits, conductors and insulators, parallel circuits, and…
Nichols, Kim; Gillies, Robyn; Hedberg, John
This study explored the impact of argumentation-promoting collaborative inquiry and representational work in science on primary students' representational fluency. Two hundred sixty-six year 6 students received instruction on natural disasters with a focus on collaborative inquiry. Students in the Comparison condition received only this…
Çalik, Muammer; Ebenezer, Jazlin; Özsevgeç, Tuncay; Küçük, Zeynel; Artun, Hüseyin
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of "Environmental Chemistry" elective course via Technology-Embedded Scientific Inquiry (TESI) model on senior science student teachers' (SSSTs) self-perceptions of fluency with innovative technologies (InT) and scientific inquiry abilities. The study was conducted with 117 SSSTs (68…
Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin; Harwood, William
This study is part of ongoing research investigating the experiences of undergraduate students who enroll in an integrated inquiry-based biology program during their freshman year. The purpose of this study was to explore students' perspectives on the program and their perceptions of science and scientific inquiry after completing the program.…
Rinke, Carol R.; Gimbel, Steven J.; Haskell, Sophie
Although classroom inquiry is the primary pedagogy of science education, it has often been difficult to implement within conventional classroom cultures. This study turned to the alternatively structured Montessori learning environment to better understand the ways in which it fosters the essential elements of classroom inquiry, as defined by…
Jocz, Jennifer Ann; Zhai, Junqing; Tan, Aik Ling
Recent research reveals that students' interest in school science begins to decline at an early age. As this lack of interest could result in fewer individuals qualified for scientific careers and a population unprepared to engage with scientific societal issues, it is imperative to investigate ways in which interest in school science can be increased. Studies have suggested that inquiry learning is one way to increase interest in science. Inquiry learning forms the core of the primary syllabus in Singapore; as such, we examine how inquiry practices may shape students' perceptions of science and school science. This study investigates how classroom inquiry activities relate to students' interest in school science. Data were collected from 425 grade 4 students who responded to a questionnaire and 27 students who participated in follow-up focus group interviews conducted in 14 classrooms in Singapore. Results indicate that students have a high interest in science class. Additionally, self-efficacy and leisure-time science activities, but not gender, were significantly associated with an increased interest in school science. Interestingly, while hands-on activities are viewed as fun and interesting, connecting learning to real-life and discussing ideas with their peers had a greater relation to student interest in school science. These findings suggest that inquiry learning can increase Singaporean students' interest in school science; however, simply engaging students in hands-on activities is insufficient. Instead, student interest may be increased by ensuring that classroom activities emphasize the everyday applications of science and allow for peer discussion.
Mezei, Jessica M.
The implementation of inquiry learning in American science classrooms remains a challenge. Teachers' perceptions of inquiry learning are predicated on their past educational experiences, which means outdated methods of learning may influence teachers' instructional approaches. In order to enhance their understanding and ultimately their implementation of inquiry learning, teachers need new and more relevant models. This study takes a preliminary step exploring the potential of game play as a valuable experience for science teachers. It has been proposed that game play and inquiry experiences can embody constructivist processes of learning, however there has been little work done with science teachers to systematically explore the relationship between the two. Game play may be an effective new model for teacher education and it is important to understand if and how teachers relate game playing experience and knowledge to inquiry. This study examined science teachers' game playing experiences and their perceptions of inquiry experiences and evaluated teacher's recognition of learning in both contexts. Data was collected through an online survey (N=246) and a series of follow-up interviews (N=29). Research questions guiding the study were: (1) What is the nature of the relationship between science teachers' game experience and their perceptions of inquiry? (2) How do teachers describe learning in and from game playing as compared with inquiry science learning? and (3) What is the range of similarities and differences teachers articulate between game play and inquiry experiences?. Results showed weak quantitative links between science teachers' game experiences and their perceptions of inquiry, but identified promising game variables such as belief in games as learning tools, game experiences, and playing a diverse set of games for future study. The qualitative data suggests that teachers made broad linkages in terms of parallels of both teaching and learning. Teachers
Park, Mira; Park, Do-Yong; Lee, Robert E.
The purpose of this study is to investigate in what ways the inquiry task of teaching and learning in earth science textbooks reflect the unique characteristics of earth science inquiry methodology, and how it provides students with opportunities to develop their scientific reasoning skills. This study analyzes a number of inquiry activities in…
Gordin, Douglas Norman
Scientists' external representations can help science education by providing powerful tools for students' inquiry. Scientific visualization is particularly well suited for this as it uses color patterns, rather than algebraic notation. Nonetheless, visualization must be adapted so it better fits with students' interests, goals, and abilities. I describe how visualization was adapted for students' expressive use and provide a case study where students successfully used visualization. The design process began with scientists' tools, data sets, and activities which were then adapted for students' use. I describe the design through scenarios where students create and analyze visualizations and present the software's functionality through visualization's sub-representations of data; color; scale, resolution, and projection; and examining the relationships between visualizations. I evaluate these designs through a "hot-house" study where a small group of students used visualization under near ideal circumstances for two weeks. Using videotapes of group interactions, software logs, and students' work I examine their representational and inquiry strategies. These inquiries were successful in that the group pursued their interest in world hunger by creating a visualization of daily per capita calorie consumption. Through creating the visualization the students engage in a process of meaning making where they interweave their prior experiences and beliefs with the representations they are using. This interweaving and other processes of collaborative visualization are shown when the students (a) computed values, (b) created a new color scheme, (c) cooperated to create the visualization, and (d) presented their work to other students. I also discuss problems that arose when students (a) used units without considering their meaning, (b) chose inappropriate comparisons in case-based reasoning, (c) did not participate equally during group work, (d) were confused about additive
Weiland, Sunny Minelli
This study implemented a qualitative approach to examine the phenomenon of "inquiry-based science pedagogy or inquiry instruction" as it has been experienced by individuals. Data was collected through online open-ended surveys, focus groups, and teacher reported self-reflections to answer the research questions: 1) How do middle level science teachers conceptualize "inquiry-based instruction?" 2) What are preferred instructional strategies for implementation in middle level science classrooms? And 3) How do middle level science teachers perceive the connection between science instruction and student learning? The participants within this research study represent 33 percent of teachers in grades 5 through 9 within six school districts in northeastern Pennsylvania. Of the 12 consent forms originally obtained, 10 teachers completed all three phases of the data collection, including the online survey, participation in focus groups, and teacher self-reflection. 60 percent of the participants taught only science, and 40 percent taught all content areas. Of the ten participants, 50 percent were certified teachers of science and 50 percent were certified as teachers of elementary education. 70 percent of the research participants reflected having obtained a master's, with 60 percent of these degrees being received in areas of education, and 10 percent in the area of science. The research participants have a total of 85 collective years of experience as professional educators, with the average years of experience being 8.5 years. Analysis of data revealed three themes related to research question #1) How do middle-level science teachers conceptualize inquiry-based instruction? and sub-question #1) How do middle-level science teachers characterize effective instruction? The themes that capture the essence of teachers' formulation of inquiry-based instruction that emerged in this study were student centered, problem solving, and hands-on . Analysis of data revealed one theme
Hallett, Ronald E.; Griffen, Jacalyn
Involving parents in the college-planning process is essential to increasing access for students from low-income communities of color. Using the action inquiry model, we explore how collaboration between a school district and a university can empower parents to engage in meaningful conversations and planning related to college access. This…
Campbell, Todd; Der, Joshua P.; Wolf, Paul G.; Packenham, Eric; Abd-Hamid, Nor Hashidah
The importance of engaging students in undergraduate science courses in scientific inquiry is well understood. K-12 standards documents and undergraduate science education literature both support the central role of engagement in science processes in the course of science education. However, most scientists and educators have experienced science…
Wang, Chien-Hsing; Ke, Yi-Ting; Wu, Jin-Tong; Hsu, Wen-Hua
This paper briefly reports the outcomes of an action research inquiry on the use of blogs, MS PowerPoint [PPT], and the Internet as learning tools with a science class of sixth graders for project-based learning. Multiple sources of data were essential to triangulate the key findings articulated in this paper. Corresponding to previous studies, the incorporation of technology and project-based learning could motivate students in self-directed exploration. The students were excited about the autonomy over what to learn and the use of PPT to express what they learned. Differing from previous studies, the findings pointed to the lack information literacy among students. The students lacked information evaluation skills, note-taking and information synthesis. All these findings imply the importance of teaching students about information literacy and visual literacy when introducing information technology into the classroom. The authors suggest that further research should focus on how to break the culture of "copy-and-paste" by teaching the skills of note-taking and synthesis through inquiry projects for science learning. Also, further research on teacher professional development should focus on using collaboration action research as a framework for re-designing graduate courses for science teachers in order to enhance classroom technology integration.
Haefner, Leigh Boardman
This study examined prospective elementary teachers' learning about science inquiry in the context of an innovative life science course that engaged them in an original science investigation. Eleven elementary education majors participated in the study. A multiple case study approach that was descriptive, interpretive, and framed by grounded theory was employed. Primary data sources included transcripts of semi-structured interviews, text associated with online threaded discussions, and course project documents, such as lesson plans and written reflections. Secondary data sources included videotaped class sessions and field notes. Data were analyzed using analytical induction techniques, and trustworthiness was developed through the use of multiple data sources, triangulation of data, and the use of counterexamples to the assertions. Three major findings emerged from the cross-case analysis. First, engaging in an original science investigation assisted prospective teachers in becoming more attentive to the processes of science and developing more elaborated and data-driven explanations of how science is practiced. Second, when prospective teachers struggled with particular aspects of their investigations, those aspects became foci of change in their thinking about science and doing science. Third, as prospective teachers came to place a greater emphasis on questions, observations, and experimentation as fundamental aspects of doing science, they became more accepting of approaches to teaching science that encourage children's questions about science phenomena. Implications include the need to re-conceptualize teacher preparation programs to include multiple opportunities to engage prospective teachers in learning science as inquiry, and attend to connections among subject matter knowledge, subject-specific pedagogy and experiences with children.
Chowdhary, Bhawna; Liu, Xiufeng; Yerrick, Randy; Smith, Erica; Grant, Brooke
The current literature relates to how teachers develop knowledge and practice of science inquiry, but little has been reported on how teachers develop interdisciplinary science inquiry (ISI) knowledge and practice. This study examines the effect of university research experiences, ongoing professional development, and in-school support on teachers' development of ISI pedagogical knowledge and practices. It centers on documenting diverse teachers' journeys of experiencing ISI as well as developing knowledge of ISI. It was found that there was variation in ISI understanding and practice among the teachers as a result of the combination of teachers' experiences, beliefs, and participation. Thus, in order to help teachers develop ISI knowledge and pedagogy, barriers to ISI knowledge development and implementation must also be addressed. Professional developers must articulate clear program goals to all stakeholders including an explicit definition of ISI and the ability to recognize ISI attributes during research experiences as well as during classroom implementation. Teachers must also be held accountable for participation and reflection in all aspects of professional development. Program developers must also take into consideration teachers' needs, attitudes, and beliefs toward their students when expecting changes in teachers' cognition and behavior to teach inquiry-rich challenging science.
Kawalkar, Aisha; Vijapurkar, Jyotsna
Teachers' questions in the inquiry classroom not only explore and make student thinking explicit in the class but also serve to guide and scaffold it. Several studies analysing teachers' questions and their categories have been reported; however the need for a fine-grained analysis has been felt, especially in the inquiry setting. This study attempts a fine-grained analysis of the rich variety of teachers' questions and their roles in an inquiry science classroom, which are illustrated with vignettes from our classes. We present a sequential typology of teachers' questions that emerged from this empirical study, one that brings out their progression in an inquiry class. We juxtapose them with the ones asked during traditional teaching. We also examine, through teachers' self-reports, their motivations for questioning. This work leads towards a characterisation of the complex process of teaching science as an inquiry that teachers interested in moving towards more constructivist teaching practices in their classrooms may find helpful.
Gross, N. A.; Garik, P.; Nolan, M. D.; Winrich, C.; Derosa, D.; Duffy, A.; Jariwala, M.; Konjoian, B.
The need for STEM professional development for K-8 teachers is well documented. Such professional development promises broad impact, but it must have a positive effect on teachers’ knowledge and skills: 1) a focus on content knowledge, 2) opportunities for active learning, and 3) coherence with other activities. However, sustained impact is only achieved through intensive professional development. In response to the need for science education courses for K-8 teachers, for the past three years, the School of Education and the Department of Physics have collaborated to offer K-8 teachers science content courses of extended duration (75 contact hours) that emphasize inquiry based learning and investigation. The School of Education graduate courses have consisted of five three-hour meetings during the months of May and June, and a two week intensive period in July when the participants come for six hours per day. The alignment of these courses with inquiry teaching was confirmed using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). Courses offered in this format have been: --Immersion in Green Energy (IGE) -alternative sources of energy and how electricity is generated (75 teachers over the last 3 years), --Immersion in Global Energy Distribution (IGED) -understanding global climate as an outcome of insolation, convection, and radiation (27 teachers over the last 2 years) The Immersion courses cover a spectrum for inquiry learning that begins with introduction to equipment and experiments through guided discovery and culminates with students taking responsibility for defining and completing their own investigative projects. As a specific example, we consider here the IGED course. For IGED, the first five sessions are devoted to content and learning to use experimental equipment such as digital data collection probes to measure temperature, CO2 and salinity. Content addressed during these sessions include the differentiation between conduction, convection, and
Vergara, Mariana Ines
This action research exploratory study sought to learn how to better develop my practice by using grounded theory. It explored the apparent cognitive transformational experience of nine participants over a period of four weeks after the implementation of an intervention called Mindfulness into Action. The informal intervention was used with the…
Colon, Erica L.
Online learning is becoming more prevalent in today's education and is changing the way students learn and instructors teach. This study proposed using an informative case study design within a multilevel conceptual framework as teacher candidates were learning to teach and use science inquiry while in an online post-baccalaureate science methods course. The purposes were to (a) explore whether the teacher candidates had a thorough understanding of scientific inquiry and how to implement higher-order thinking skills, (b) examine whether or not the teacher candidates used a variety of computer-based instructional technologies when choosing instructional objectives, and (c) identify barriers that impede teacher candidates from using science inquiry or technology singly, or the ability to incorporate technology into learning science inquiry. The findings indicate that an online approach in preparing science teachers holds great potential for using innovative technology to teach science inquiry. First, the teacher candidates did incorporate essential features of classroom inquiry, however it was limited and varied in the type of inquiry used. Second, of the 86 lesson plans submitted by the teacher candidates, less than twelve percent of the learning objectives involved higher-order skills that promoted science inquiry. Third, results supported that when using technology in their lesson planning, participants had widely varying backgrounds in reference to their familiarity with technology. However, even though each participant used some form or another, the technology used was fairly low level. Finally, when discussing implementing inquiry-based science in the lesson plans, this study identified time as a reason that participants may not be pushing for more inquiry-based lessons. The researcher also identifies that school placements were a huge factor in the amount of inquiry-based skills coded in the lesson plans. The study concludes that online teacher preparation
Peterat, Linda, Ed.; Smith, M. Gale
This book contains 16 papers about informing family and consumer sciences educational practice through action research. The following papers are included: "Informing Practice through Classroom Inquiry" (Linda Peterat, M. Gale Smith); "Focusing Praxis Research on Sexism in a Primary Classroom" (Emily Sutherland); "Understanding the Meaning of…
Gyllenpalm, Jakob; Wickman, Per-Olof
This paper examines the use and role of the term 'hypothesis' in science teacher education as described by teacher students. Data were collected through focus group interviews conducted at seven occasions with 32 students from six well-known Swedish universities. The theoretical framework is a sociocultural and pragmatist perspective on language and learning, introducing the notion of pivot terms to operationalise language use as a habit and mediated action. We describe three different customs of using the term 'hypothesis' within four cultural institutions that can be said to constitute science teacher education in Sweden. Students were found to habitually use the term hypothesis as meaning a guess about an outcome. This is contrasted to the function of this term in scientific research as a tentative explanation. We also found differences in how this term was used between the pure science courses given by the science departments of universities and science education courses taken only by teacher students. Findings also included further support for school students hypothesis fear reported in an earlier study. It is discussed how these findings can obstruct learning and teaching about the nature of scientific inquiry. Constructivist theories of learning are suggested as a possible origin of these problems. The findings are also related to curricular reform and development.
Capps, Daniel K.; Shemwell, Jonathan T.; Young, Ashley M.
Science education reforms worldwide call on teachers to engage students in investigative approaches to instruction, like inquiry. Studies of teacher self-reported enactment indicate that inquiry is used frequently in the classroom, suggesting a high level of proficiency with inquiry that would be amenable to inquiry reform. However, it is unclear whether the high frequency of self-report is based on sound knowledge inquiry. In the absence of sound knowledge, high rates of self-reported enactment would be suspect. We conducted a study to measure teachers' knowledge of inquiry as it related to the known, high frequency of reported enactment. We developed a multidimensional survey instrument using US reform documents and administered it to 149 K-12 teachers at a national science teachers' conference. The majority of the teachers surveyed did not report inquiry enactment based on well-structured knowledge of inquiry. Interviews with participants showed how teachers could readily map non-inquiry activities onto inquiry statements taken directly from reform documents. From these results we argue that teachers often believed they were enacting inquiry, when likely they were not. We further reason that teachers may struggle to interpret and enact inquiry-related requirements of science education reform and will need support distinguishing inquiry from non-inquiry practices.
Feldman, Allan; Capobianco, Brenda
This digest provides an introduction to action research in science education and includes examples of how action research has been used to improve teaching and learning, as well as suggested resources for those seeking to incorporate action research into their own teaching or research. Action research is defined and is examined in science…
Courtade, Ginevra Rose
Federal mandates (A Nation at Risk, 1983 and Project 2061: Science for all Americans, 1985) as well as the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) call for science education for all students. Recent educational laws (IDEA, 1997; NCLB, 2002) require access to and assessment of the general curriculum, including science, for all students with disabilities. Although some research exists on teaching academics to students with significant disabilities, the research on teaching science is especially limited (Browder, Spooner, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Harris, & Wakeman, 2006; Browder, Wakeman, et al., 2006; Courtade, et al., 2006). The purpose of this investigation was to determine if training teachers of students with significant disabilities to teach science concepts using a guided inquiry-based method would change the way science was instructed in the classroom. Further objectives of this study were to determine if training the teachers would increase students' participation and achievement in science. The findings of this study demonstrated a functional relationship between the inquiry-based science instruction training and teacher's ability to instruct students with significant disabilities in science using inquiry-based science instruction. The findings of this study also indicated a functional relationship between the inquiry-based science instruction training and acquisition of student inquiry skills. Also, findings indicated an increase in the number of science content standards being addressed after the teachers received the training. Some students were also able to acquire new science terms after their teachers taught using inquiry-based instruction. Finally, social validity measures indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the intervention and its intended outcomes.
The Republic of Benin (West Africa) undertook a nationwide curriculum reform that put an emphasis on inquiry-based instructional practices. Little, if any, research has been conducted to explore factors that could be related to teachers' orientation toward inquiry instructional practices. The purpose of this research study was to investigate factors and concerns that determine Benin elementary school teachers' orientation toward the use of inquiry-based instruction in the teaching of science. The study followed a naturalistic inquiry methodology combining a correlational ex post facto design and an observational case-study design. The theory of Planned Behavior was the conceptual framework used to design the study. Two hundred (N = 200) elementary school teachers and three (n = 3) case study participants were purposively selected. Data was gathered via the Revised Science Attitude Scale (Thompson & Shrigley, 1986), the Science Teachers' Ideological Preference Scale (Jones & Harty, 1978), open-ended questions, interviews, and classroom observations using audiorecorders, videorecorders, and the researcher-contextualized version of the Observational System for the Analysis of Classroom Instruction (Hough, 1966). Qualitative and quantitative data provided a deeper understanding of participants' responses. Quantitative measures indicated that Benin elementary school teachers have positive attitudes toward school science, significant positive orientation toward both inquiry-based instruction and traditional non inquiry-based instruction, and higher orientation toward inquiry-based instruction than traditional non inquiry-based instruction. Attitude toward handling materials for investigations was found to significantly contribute to the prediction of participants' inquiry orientation. Qualitative analyses of participants' responses indicated that the expectations of educational leaders, individual motivation to comply with the program, a perceived control of the
Schomer, Scott D.
The processes, understandings, and uses of inquiry are identified by the National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, 1996) as a key component of science instruction. Currently, there are few examples in the literature demonstrating how teachers go about co-constructing inquiry-based activities and how mentors can promote the use of reform-based practices by novices. The purpose of this interpretive case study was to investigate how a mentor and her protege collaboratively developed, implemented and assessed three inquiry-based experiences. The questions that guided this research were: (1) How does the mentor assist protege growth in the development, implementation and assessment of inquiry-based experiences for secondary science students? (2) How are the protege's perceptions of inquiry influenced by her participation in developing, implementing and assessing inquiry-based experiences for secondary science students? The co-construction of the inquiry activities and the facilitation provided by the mentor represented Lev Vygotsky's (1978) social construction of information as the mentor guided the protege beyond her cognitive zone of proximal development. The participants in this study were a veteran science teacher who was obtaining her mentor certification, or Teacher Support Specialist, and her protege who was a science teacher in the induction phase of her career. Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, tape recordings of planning sessions, researcher field notes, and email reflections during the co-construction process. Inductive analysis of the data led to the identification of common categories and subsequent findings, which reflected what the mentor and protege discussed about inquiry and the process of collaboration. The six themes that emerged from this study led to several implications that are significant for science teacher preparation and the mentoring community. The teachers indicated tools, such as the
Taris, James Robert; Taris, Louis James
In "Hands-On Science Mysteries for Grades 3-6," the authors connect science to real-world situations by investigating actual mysteries and phenomena, such as the strange heads on Easter Island, the ghost ship "Mary Celeste," and the "Dancing Stones" of Death Valley. The labs are designed to encourage the development of science inquiry, in which…
Oh, Phil Seok
The goal of this case study was to describe characteristic features of abductive inquiry learning activities in the domain of earth science. Participants were undergraduate junior and senior students who were enrolled in an earth science education course offered for preservice secondary science teachers at a university in Korea. The undergraduate…
Scogin, Stephen C.; Stuessy, Carol L.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for integrating knowledge and practice in learning experiences in K-12 science education. "PlantingScience" (PS), an ideal curriculum for use as an NGSS model, is a computer-mediated collaborative learning environment intertwining scientific inquiry, classroom instruction, and online…
Donnelly, Dermot F.; Linn, Marcia C.; Ludvigsen, Sten
The National Science Foundation-sponsored report "Fostering Learning in the Networked World" called for "a common, open platform to support communities of developers and learners in ways that enable both to take advantage of advances in the learning sciences." We review research on science inquiry learning environments (ILEs)…
Ramnarain, Umesh; Schuster, David
In recent years, inquiry-based science instruction has become widely advocated in science education standards in many countries and, hence, in teacher preparation programmes. Nevertheless, in practice, one finds a wide variety of science instructional approaches. In South Africa, as in many countries, there is also a great disparity in school…
This paper describes recent developments in Ireland to promote a greater interest in science among students in the 12-15 age group by means of practical work involving Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE). The tasks, know as Investigations, are a component of the assessment of the subject Science which is studied as part of the Junior…
Problem finding is a creative process whereby individuals develop original ideas for study. Secondary science students who successfully participate in authentic, novel, open inquiry studies must engage in problem finding to determine viable and suitable topics. This study examined problem finding strategies employed by students who successfully completed and presented the results of their open inquiry research at the 2007 Connecticut Science Fair and the 2007 International Science and Engineering Fair. A multicase qualitative study was framed through the lenses of creativity, inquiry strategies, and situated cognition learning theory. Data were triangulated by methods (interviews, document analysis, surveys) and sources (students, teachers, mentors, fair directors, documents). The data demonstrated that the quality of student projects was directly impacted by the quality of their problem finding. Effective problem finding was a result of students using resources from previous, specialized experiences. They had a positive self-concept and a temperament for both the creative and logical perspectives of science research. Successful problem finding was derived from an idiosyncratic, nonlinear, and flexible use and understanding of inquiry. Finally, problem finding was influenced and assisted by the community of practicing scientists, with whom the students had an exceptional ability to communicate effectively. As a result, there appears to be a juxtaposition of creative and logical/analytical thought for open inquiry that may not be present in other forms of inquiry. Instructional strategies are suggested for teachers of science research students to improve the quality of problem finding for their students and their subsequent research projects.
It is exciting to see children display an interest in discovering the world through their actions. Those actions are the beginning of science inquiry, the process children use to develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, including an understanding of how scientists study the natural world. This month's column features an activity…
Robbins, Beth Schieber
Inquiry-based science teaching is an inductive approach to science instruction that originated in constructivist learning theory and requires students to be active participants in their own learning process. In an inquiry-based classroom, students actively construct their knowledge of science through hands-on, engaged practices and inquiry-based approaches. Inquiry-based teaching stands in contrast to more traditional forms of teaching that see students as empty vessels to be filled by the teacher with rote facts. Despite calls from the NSF, the NRC, and the AAAS for more inquiry-based approaches to teaching science, research has shown that many teachers still do not use inquiry-based approaches. Teachers have cited difficulties including lack of time, high-stakes testing, a shortage of materials, problems with school-wide logistics, rigid science curricula, student passivity, and lack of prerequisite skills. The objective of this mixed-methods study was to examine to what extent specific, identifiable personality traits contribute to the likelihood that a teacher will use inquiry in the science classroom, and what factors figure predominantly as teachers' reasons for implementing inquiry. The findings of the study showed that the null hypotheses were not rejected. However, reduced conscientiousness and increased openness may be significant in indicating why teachers use inquiry-based teaching methods and avenues for further research. In addition, the qualitative results aligned with previous findings that showed that lack of resources (e.g., time and money) and peer support act as powerful barriers to implementing inquiry-based teaching. Inquiry teachers are flexible, come to teaching as a second or third career, and their classrooms can be characterized as chaotic, fun, and conducive to learning through engagement. The study suggests changes in practice among administrators and teachers. With adjustments in methods and survey instruments, additional research
The primary objective of this case study was to examine prospective secondary science teachers' developing understanding of scientific inquiry and Mendelian genetics. A computer simulation of basic Mendelian inheritance processes (Catlab) was used in combination with small-group discussions and other instructional scaffolds to enhance prospective science teachers' understandings. The theoretical background for this research is derived from a social constructivist perspective. Structuring scientific inquiry as investigation to develop explanations presents meaningful context for the enhancement of inquiry abilities and understanding of the science content. The context of the study was a teaching and learning course focused on inquiry and technology. Twelve prospective science teachers participated in this study. Multiple data sources included pre- and post-module questionnaires of participants' view of scientific inquiry, pre-posttests of understandings of Mendelian concepts, inquiry project reports, class presentations, process videotapes of participants interacting with the simulation, and semi-structured interviews. Seven selected prospective science teachers participated in in-depth interviews. Findings suggest that while studying important concepts in science, carefully designed inquiry experiences can help prospective science teachers to develop an understanding about the types of questions scientists in that field ask, the methodological and epistemological issues that constrain their pursuit of answers to those questions, and the ways in which they construct and share their explanations. Key findings included prospective teachers' initial limited abilities to create evidence-based arguments, their hesitancy to include inquiry in their future teaching, and the impact of collaboration on thinking. Prior to this experience the prospective teachers held uninformed views of scientific inquiry. After the module, participants demonstrated extended expertise in
The purpose of this phenomenographic study was to: (a) understand how beginning science teachers recruited from various science disciplines and prepared in an Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ATCP) implemented inquiry during their initial years of teaching; (b) describe constraints and needs that these beginning science teachers perceived in implementing inquiry-based science instruction; and (c) understand the relation between what they learned in their ATCP and their practice of teaching science through inquiry. The participants of this study consisted of four ATCP teachers who are in their beginning years of teaching. Semi-structured interviews, classroom observation, field notes, and artifacts used as source of data collection. The beginning science teachers in this study held incomplete views of inquiry. These views of inquiry did not reflect inquiry as described in NRC (2000)---essential features of inquiry,---nor did they reflect views of faculty members involved in teaching science methods courses. Although the participants described themselves as reform-oriented, there were inconsistencies between their views and practices. Their practice of inquiry did not reflect inquiry either as outlined by essential features of inquiry (NRC, 2000) or inquiry as modeled in activities used in their ATCP. The research participants' perceived constraints and needs in their implementation of inquiry-based activities. Their perceived constraints included logistical and student constraints and school culture. The perceived needs included classroom management, pedagogical skills, practical knowledge, discipline, successful grade-specific models of inquiry, and access to a strong support system. Prior professional work experience, models and activities used in the ATCP, and benefits of inquiry to student learning were the declared factors that facilitated the research participants' practice of inquiry-based teaching.
This article discusses methodological and philosophical issues linked to action research. The concepts of subjectivity and objectivity--potential sources of bias that mislead researchers in dealing with these concepts--and how to cope with them are discussed. Controversial issues of truth in positivism, postpositivism, and other schools of…
Heikkinen, Hannu L. T.; Huttunen, Rauno; Syrjala, Leena; Pesonen, Jyri
The article continues the discussion of the five quality principles proposed by Heikkinen, Huttunen, and Syrjala, published in 2007 in "Educational Action Research". In the present article, the authors reconsider the five principles: historical continuity; reflexivity; dialectics; workability; and evocativeness. These five principles are…
Grady, Julie R; Dolan, Erin L; Glasson, George E
Students' experiences with science integrated into agriscience courses contribute to their developing epistemologies of science. The purpose of this case study was to gain insight into the implementation of scientific inquiry in an agriscience classroom. Also of interest was how the tenets of the nature of science were reflected in the students' experiments. Participants included an agriscience teacher and her fifteen students who were conducting plant experiments to gain insight into the role of a gene disabled by scientists. Data sources included classroom observations, conversations with students, face-to-face interviews with the teacher, and students' work. Analysis of the data indicated that the teacher viewed scientific inquiry as a mechanical process with little emphasis on the reasoning that typifies scientific inquiry. Students' participation in their experiments also centered on the procedural aspects of inquiry with little attention to scientific reasoning. There was no explicit attention to the nature of science during the experiments, but the practice implied correct, incorrect, and underdeveloped conceptions of the nature of science. Evidence from the study suggests a need for collaboration between agriscience and science teacher educators to design and conduct professional development focused on scientific inquiry and nature of science for preservice and practicing teachers.
Gobert, Janice D.; Sao Pedro, Michael; Raziuddin, Juelaila; Baker, Ryan S.
We present a method for assessing science inquiry performance, specifically for the inquiry skill of designing and conducting experiments, using educational data mining on students' log data from online microworlds in the Inq-ITS system (Inquiry Intelligent Tutoring System; www.inq-its.org). In our approach, we use a 2-step process: First we…
Russ, Rosemary S.; Scherr, Rachel E.; Hammer, David; Mikeska, Jamie
Science education reform has long focused on assessing student inquiry, and there has been progress in developing tools specifically with respect to experimentation and argumentation. We suggest the need for attention to another aspect of inquiry, namely "mechanistic reasoning." Scientific inquiry focuses largely on understanding causal…
Schultz-Jones, Barbara A.; Ledbetter, Cynthia E.
As part of a larger study, the How My Library Supports Inquiry and the How My Science Class Supports Inquiry questionnaires were developed for evaluating the extent of inquiry-based teaching in classrooms and school libraries and the effect of this instruction on student literacy and, by extension, the social good. Each has 28 items in seven…
Science education reform documents emphasize the importance of inquiry experiences for young learners. This means that teachers must be prepared with the knowledge, skills, and habits of thinking to mentor their students through authentic investigations. This study examines how preservice teachers' inquiry experiences, in a science methods course, influenced and were influenced by their conceptions of inquiry. The study also assesses how these experiences were associated with eventual classroom practice. Six preservice secondary teachers were observed during a 2-month inquiry project and then followed into the classroom as they began a 9-week teaching practicum. Data revealed that participants' preproject conceptions of the inquiry process were related to the conduct and interpretation of their own inquiry project, and that the project experience modified the inquiry conceptions of those participants who already had sophisticated understandings of scientific investigations. Perhaps most importantly, the participants who eventually used guided and open inquiry during their student teaching were not those who had more authentic views of inquiry or reflected most deeply about their own inquiry projects, but rather they were individuals who had significant undergraduate or professional experiences with authentic science research. Finally, this article advocates that independent science investigations be part of preservice education and that these experiences should be scaffolded to prompt reflection specifically about the nature of inquiry and conceptually linked to ways in which inquiry can be brought into the K-12 classroom.
Steward, Jason Lee
Within the last twenty years, reform documents have been penned in order to define and codify standards for improved science education practices. A major theme within these documents is the attainment of student understanding of the nature of science through tasks that more closely resemble how science really works. My research deals with two specific approaches to authenticity in science education: inquiry-based teaching in middle-school and high-school and a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program in chemical biology. Through my research, I have made four assertions about authenticity in science education: (1) Educators' research experiences lend credibility to students' own science education experiences, (2) Undergraduate students give ownership priority over science-like activities when assessing authenticity, (3) Educators need support to implement authentic science activities (including inquiry) into the classroom setting, and (4) Students (and educators) at all levels benefit from experiences with authentic science practices.
Pegg, Jerine M.
Recent science education reforms have placed a large emphasis on inquiry-based teaching strategies as an effective way of improving conceptual understanding of science principles, comprehension of the nature of scientific inquiry, and development of the abilities for inquiry (NRC, 1996). To better understand the relationship between inquiry-based instruction and student learning, this study examined the nature of student reasoning about science concepts during Claims-Evidence Inquiry lessons. The Claims-Evidence approach to inquiry teaching was chosen as the context for this study, because it focuses student investigations on specific scientific concepts. It uses a deductive approach to question generation, in which scientific claims are used as springboards for student investigations (Gummer, 2002; Thompson, 2003; Briley, 2003). This study found that the Claims-Evidence Inquiry model provides a framework for encouraging student reasoning about science concepts by providing supports for the development of explanations. Students were encouraged to develop explanations and consider how science concepts related to their investigations. A number of instructional factors appeared to influence students' development of explanations during Claims-Evidence inquiry. These included explicitly encouraging explanations, clarifying the connection between the claim and the investigation, the presentation of the claim, the nature of the claim, the development of science concepts, the design of the task, and the development of inquiry skills. Students were found to engage in discourse related to explanations during all four phases of the inquiry; forming a question or hypothesis, designing an investigation, collecting and presenting data, and analyzing results. Most of the verbal discourse related to explanations occurred when students were reasoning about hypotheses and most of the written discourse related to explanations occurred when students were reasoning about hypotheses and
Professional development is evolving into an ongoing learning process of self-disclosure, reflection, and growth that produces the best results when it is job-embedded over a period of time (Diaz-Maggioli, 2003). One promising approach to use is that of study groups (National Science Education Standards, 2006). A study group is a series of weekly sessions in which a small group of teachers meet voluntarily for a period of time, to discuss educational issues (Farstrup, 2002). Utilizing study groups is particularly helpful in the area of science inquiry (National Science Education Standards, 2006). In concert with the use of study groups for inquiry teaching, using teacher concerns, levels of use and the reflective process are promising variables within teacher professional development activities. This study examined the effects of elementary teachers' participating in a science inquiry study group. Data were collected at the onset and the completion of the twelve sessions (30 hours) using the Stages of Concerns Questionnaire, Levels of Use interviews, and teacher reflection journals. Findings indicated participants changed their concerns about science inquiry in some stages within the phases of self, task, and impact, increased their level of use in science inquiry, and generated surface knowledge on the third level (multi-structural).
McLaughlin, Cheryl A.; MacFadden, Bruce J.
This study stemmed from concerns among researchers that reform efforts grounded in promoting inquiry as the basis for teaching science have not achieved the desired changes in American science classrooms. Many science teachers assume that they are employing inquiry-based strategies when they use cookbook investigations with highly structured…
Lujan, Heidi L.; DiCarlo, Stephen E.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) strongly recommends that "science be taught as science is practiced." This means that the teaching approach must be consistent with the nature of scientific inquiry. In this article, the authors describe how they added scientific inquiry to a large lecture-based physiology…
Meyer, Xenia; Crawford, Barbara A.
Due to the growing number of students from populations underrepresented in the sciences, there is an intensified need to consider alternatives to traditional science instruction. Inquiry-based instructional approaches provide promise and possibility for engaging underrepresented students in the activities of science. However, inquiry-based instruction without culturally relevant pedagogy and instructional congruency, may not be sufficient to support non-mainstream students in science learning, and may even serve to challenge students' cultural ways of knowing. This conceptual paper suggests that aligning reform efforts in science education to the field of multicultural education would buttress efforts to reach underrepresented student groups in science. This includes providing culturally relevant instruction and instruction toward making the assumptions of science explicit, in particular. To this end, this paper draws from literature in multicultural education to propose that deconstructing science through instruction in NOS may support Latino, African American and English language learning students in science learning.
Objectives This article reviews an evaluation vector model driven from a participatory action research leveraging a collective inquiry system named SMILE (Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment). Methods SMILE has been implemented in a diverse set of collective inquiry generation and analysis scenarios including community health care-specific professional development sessions and community-based participatory action research projects. In each scenario, participants are given opportunities to construct inquiries around physical and emotional health-related phenomena in their own community. Results Participants formulated inquiries as well as potential clinical treatments and hypothetical scenarios to address health concerns or clarify misunderstandings or misdiagnoses often found in their community practices. From medical universities to rural village health promotion organizations, all participatory inquiries and potential solutions can be collected and analyzed. The inquiry and solution sets represent an evaluation vector which helps educators better understand community health issues at a much deeper level. Conclusions SMILE helps collect problems that are most important and central to their community health concerns. The evaluation vector, consisting participatory and collective inquiries and potential solutions, helps the researchers assess the participants' level of understanding on issues around health concerns and practices while helping the community adequately formulate follow-up action plans. The method used in SMILE requires much further enhancement with machine learning and advanced data visualization. PMID:27525157
Collins, Timothy A.
Science inquiry is central to the science education reform efforts that began in the early 1990's. It is both a topic of instruction and a process to be experienced. Student engagement in the process of scientific inquiry was the focus of this study. The process of scientific inquiry can be conceived as a two-part task. In the initial part of the task, students identify a question or problem to study and then carry out an investigation to address the issue. In the second part of the task, students analyze their data to propose explanations and then report their findings. Knowing that students struggle with science inquiry tasks, this study sought to investigate ways to help students become more successful with the communication demands of science inquiry tasks. The study took place in a high school chemistry class. Students in this study completed a total of three inquiry tasks over the course of one school year. Students were split into four experimental groups in order to determine the effect of goal setting, metacognitive prompts, and sentence stems on student inquiry tasks. The quality of the student written work was assessed using a scoring rubric familiar to the students. In addition, students were asked at four different times in the school year to respond to a self-efficacy survey that measured student self-efficacy for chemistry content and science inquiry processes. Student self-efficacy for the process of scientific inquiry was positive and did not change over the course of the study while student scores on the science inquiry tasks rose significantly. The metacognitive prompts and instruction in goal setting did not have any effect on student inquiry scores. Results related to the effect of the sentence stems were mixed. An analysis of student work indicated that students who received high marks on their initial inquiry task in this study were the ones that adopted the use of the sentence stems. Students who received low marks on their initial inquiry
In spite of a multi-decade mandate to enact inquiry in science, research reports that a large gap continues to exist in Ontario between the vision of science education presented in curriculum documents and what is enacted in the classroom. A three-staged, mixed methods design was chosen to examine teachers. beliefs and practices that contribute to an understanding of this longstanding gap in teaching practice related to inquiry. The participants in this study were secondary school science teachers currently employed by one medium-sized, urban & rural district public school board. Quantitative data was first collected through a self-reporting survey designed to explore teachers. beliefs related to teaching and learning in inquiry. Completed questionnaires were submitted by 80 % (n = 83) of the population of science teachers. Qualitative data, collected through semi-structured interviews (n = 17), were used to confirm and expand the quantitative findings. Quantitative analysis resulted in the development of an empirical framework to illustrate the dimensionality of teachers. beliefs and practices related to inquiry. Four types of science teachers were identified during qualitative analysis, each associated with a preferred type of inquiry and each identifiable by a cluster of beliefs. A stance was determined for each of these types of teachers representing their generalized view of teaching and learning related to inquiry including: utilitarian science, content-based science, authentic contextual science, and citizenship science. Additionally, each group of teachers could be associated with one of the four quadrants in my framework. Lastly, a beliefs profile was produced to represent each quadrant in this framework based on integration of the quantitative and qualitative findings. Challenges to enactment and types of program support to foster enactment of open-ended inquiry were identified by science teachers associated with each stance. A few of these challenges and
A lack of research exists about how secondary school science teachers use inquiry-based instruction to improve student learning. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how science teachers used inquiry-based instruction to improve student learning in high school biology courses. The conceptual framework was based on Banchi and Bell's model of increasing levels of complexity for inquiry-based instruction. A multiple case study research design was conducted of biology programs at 3 high schools in an urban school district in the northeastern region of the United States. Participants included 2 biology teachers from each of the 3 high schools. Data were collected from individual interviews with biology teachers, observations of lessons in biology, and documents related to state standards, assessments, and professional development. The first level of data analysis involved coding and categorizing the interview and observation data. A content analysis was used for the documents. The second level of data analysis involved examining data across all sources and all cases for themes and discrepancies. According to study findings, biology teachers used confirmation, structure, and guided inquiry to improve student learning. However, they found open inquiry challenging and frustrating to implement because professional development about scaffolding of instruction over time was needed, and students' reading and writing skills needed to improve. This study contributes to positive social change by providing educators and researchers with a deeper understanding about how to scaffold levels of inquiry-based science instruction in order to help students become scientifically literate citizens.
Marx, Ronald W.; Blumenfeld, Phyllis C.; Krajcik, Joseph S.; Fishman, Barry; Soloway, Elliot; Geier, Robert; Tal, Revital Tali
Science education standards established by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Research Council (NRC) urge less emphasis on memorizing scientific facts and more emphasis on students investigating the everyday world and developing deep understanding from their inquiries. These approaches to instruction…
This study examined similarities and differences in how U.S. and Japanese middle-school science teachers teach science through inquiry. Classroom practices were examined through observations in the United States (N = 9) and Japan (N = 14). The observational data were coded and quantified based on the rubric that incorporated 2 dimensions: student…
Slotta, James D.; Linn, Marcia C.
This book shares the lessons learned by a large community of educational researchers and science teachers as they designed, developed, and investigated a new technology-enhanced learning environment known as WISE: The Web-Based Inquiry Science Environment. WISE offers a collection of free, customizable curriculum projects on topics central to the…
Sun, Daner; Looi, Chee-Kit
The paper traces a research process in the design and development of a science learning environment called WiMVT (web-based inquirer with modeling and visualization technology). The WiMVT system is designed to help secondary school students build a sophisticated understanding of scientific conceptions, and the science inquiry process, as well as…
Murphy, Amy Fowler
This dissertation used a combination of case study and phenomenological research methods to investigate how individual teachers of middle school science in the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) program sustain their use of inquiry-based methods of teaching and learning. While the overall context for the cases was the AMSTI…
Baez, Benjamin; Boyles, Deron
In "The Politics of Inquiry", Benjamin Baez and Deron Boyles critique recent trends in education research to argue against the "culture of science." Using the National Research Council's 2002 report "Scientific Research in Education" as a point of departure, they contend that the entire discourse on education science reflects a number of distinct…
van Uum, Martina S. J.; Verhoeff, Roald P.; Peeters, Marieke
Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) has been promoted as an inspiring way of learning science by engaging pupils in designing and conducting their own scientific investigations. For primary school teachers, the open nature of IBSE poses challenges as they often lack experience in supporting their pupils during the different phases of an open…
Rule, Audrey C.; Tallakson, Denise A.; Glascock, Alex L.; Chao, Astoria
This article describes an arts- and spatial thinking skill--integrated inquiry project applied to life science concepts from the Next Generation Science Standards for fourth grade students that focuses on two unifying or crosscutting themes: (1) structure (or "form") and function and (2) use of models. Students made observations and…
Dyjur, Patti; Li, Qing
This paper looks at the design process of an inquiry-based mathematics and science unit in two urban grade nine classes. Three teachers who teach in an urban, all-girls' junior high school collaborated with math/science and educational experts to design and implement the unit. Results showed the following: teachers needed to be flexible regarding…
Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Tsai, Chin-Chung; Chu, Hui-Chun; Kinshuk; Chen, Chieh-Yuan
Fostering students' scientific inquiry competence has been recognised as being an important and challenging objective of science education. To strengthen the understanding of science theories or notations, researchers have suggested conducting some learning activities in the field via operating relevant devices. In a traditional infield scientific…
Inquiry experiences in secondary science classrooms are heavily weighted toward experimentation. We know, however, that many fields of science (e.g., evolutionary biology, cosmology, and paleontology), while they may utilize experiments, are not justified by experimental methodologies. With the focus on experimentation in schools, these fields of…
Levy, S. T.; Lahav, O.
This paper addresses a central need among people who are blind, access to inquiry-based science learning materials, which are addressed by few other learning environments that use assistive technologies. In this study, we investigated ways in which learning environments based on sound mediation can support science learning by blind people. We used…
Inquiry-based instruction is gaining favor in college classrooms because it improves scientific skills as well as critical thinking. As we seek ways to improve science education, elementary school is increasingly becoming an embattled component because of decreased time spent on science during those years. The approach that elementary educators…
Crawford, Barbara A.
This study examined the knowledge, beliefs and efforts of five prospective teachers to enact teaching science as inquiry, over the course of a one-year high school fieldwork experience. Data sources included interviews, field notes, and artifacts, as these prospective teachers engaged in learning how to teach science. Research questions included…
Varelas, Maria; Plotnick, Roy; Wink, Donald; Fan, Qian; Harris, Yvonne
An interdisciplinary team of science and education faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and several Chicago-area community colleges developed and implemented a series of four integrated, inquiry-based science courses for preservice elementary school teachers. All four courses are based on guiding principles taken from the rich…
Otto, Charlotte A.; Everett, Susan A.; Moyer, Richard H.; Zitzewitz, Paul W.
In this study, we looked at the impact of our specially designed inquiry-based science courses for pre-service elementary teachers on their science content knowledge as measured by a high-stakes state certification test for elementary education. We conducted a pre/post-analysis of the certification test scores of 1,003 pre-service teachers. Cohort…
PlantingScience is an inquiry and science mentorship program, led by the Botanical Society of America and supported by 14 Scientific Society partners that brings together students (middle school through high school), plant scientists (as mentors), and teachers from across the nation. Using several l...
Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Akerson, Valarie L.; Colak, Huseyin; Pongsanon, Khemmawadee; Genel, Abdulkadir
This study explores how elementary teachers and students use hedges (tentative words such as "maybe") and boosters (expressions of certainty such as "clearly" and "obviously") during science inquiry discussions. Drawing upon semiotic theory, we examine explicit thematic patterns (semantic meaning relations among science concepts) as well as hidden…
Prior research has shown that greatest student achievement in sciences is attributed to "inquiry-based instructional approach", in which the goal of science teaching is nurturing attitudes and skills necessary for independent quest for scientific knowledge. While prior research has clearly demonstrated positive instructional effects of…
Howes, Elaine V.; Lim, Miyoun; Campos, Jaclyn
Teaching literacy in inquiry-based science-teaching settings has recently become a focus of research in science education. Because professional scientists' uses of reading, writing, and speaking are foundational to their work, as well as to nonscientists' comprehension of it , it follows that literacy practices should also be central to science…
Yakar, Zeha; Baykara, Hatice
In this study, the effects of inquiry-based learning practices on the scientific process skills, creative thinking, and attitudes towards science experiments of preservice science teachers have been analyzed. A non-experimental quantitative analysis method, the single-group pre test posttest design, has been used. In order to observe the…
Taylor, Jennifer Anne
This thesis presents a qualitative investigation of the effects of social competence on the participation of students with learning disabilities (LD) in the science learning processes associated with collaborative, guided inquiry learning. An inclusive Grade 2 classroom provided the setting for the study. Detailed classroom observations were the primary source of data. In addition, the researcher conducted two interviews with the teacher, and collected samples of students' written work. The purpose of the research was to investigate: (a) How do teachers and peers mediate the participation of students with LD in collaborative, guided inquiry science activities, (b) What learning processes do students with LD participate in during collaborative, guided inquiry science activities, and (c) What components of social competence support and constrain the participation of students with LD during collaborative, guided inquiry science activities? The findings of the study suggest five key ideas for research and teaching in collaborative, guided inquiry science in inclusive classrooms. First, using a variety of collaborative learning formats (whole-class, small-group, and pairs) creates more opportunities for the successful participation of diverse students with LD. Second, creating an inclusive community where students feel accepted and valued may enhance the academic and social success of students with LD. Third, careful selection of partners for students with LD is important for a positive learning experience. Students with LD should be partnered with academically successful, socially competent peers; also, this study suggested that students with LD experience more success working collaboratively in pairs rather than in small groups. Fourth, a variety of strategies are needed to promote active participation and positive social interactions for students with and without LD during collaborative, guided inquiry learning. Fifth, adopting a general approach to teaching
Seymour B. Sarason's innovative ideas have influenced much of my work. These same ideas-in particular, his concepts of social settings, behavioral and programmatic regularities, and the universe of alternatives-also serve as the foundation for an action science of social settings. Questions regarding theory, measurement, intervention, and research design and data analysis are central to the development of this action science, and there have been recent innovations in each of these areas. However, future challenges remain for the field. We must continue to move forward to advance an action science of social settings and make a real difference in people's lives.
Resnik, David B.
This article examines the legal and moral basis of affirmative action in science and engineering, in light of recent legal rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. It argues that affirmative action programs can be morally and legally justified on the grounds that they enhance educational experiences and promote creativity, productivity, and success in science and engineering. Affirmative action programs may use race, ethnicity, or gender as one factor among many in decision-making, but they should not treat race, ethnicity, or gender as a decisive factor. Affirmative action programs that establish racial, ethnic or gender quotas are not legally or morally justifiable.
Marx, Ronald W.; Blumenfeld, Phyllis C.; Krajcik, Joseph S.; Fishman, Barry; Soloway, Elliot; Geier, Robert; Tali Tal, Revital
Science education standards established by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Research Council (NRC) urge less emphasis on memorizing scientific facts and more emphasis on students investigating the everyday world and developing deep understanding from their inquiries. These approaches to instruction challenge teachers and students, particularly urban students who often have additional challenges related to poverty. We report data on student learning spanning 3 years from a science education reform collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools. Data were collected from nearly 8,000 students who participated in inquiry-based and technology-infused curriculum units that were collaboratively developed by district personnel and staff from the University of Michigan as part of a larger, district-wide systemic reform effort in science education. The results show statistically significant increases on curriculum-based test scores for each year of participation. Moreover, the strength of the effects grew over the years, as evidenced by increasing effect size estimates across the years. The findings indicate that students who historically are low achievers in science can succeed in standards-based, inquiry science when curriculum is carefully developed and aligned with professional development and district policies. Additional longitudinal research on the development of student understanding over multiple inquiry projects, the progress of teacher enactment over time, and the effect of changes in the policy and administrative environment would further contribute to the intellectual and practical tools necessary to implement meaningful standards-based systemic reform in science.
The Framework for K-12 Science Education, the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards, identifies scientific explanation as one of the eight practices "essential for learning science." In order to design professional development to help teachers implement these new standards, we need to assess students' current skill level in explanation construction, characterize current teacher practice surrounding it, and identify best practices for supporting students in explanation construction. This multiple-case study investigated teacher practice in eight high school science inquiry units in the Portland metro area and the scientific explanations the students produced in their work samples. T eacher Instructional Portfolios (TIPs) were analyzed with a TIP rubric based on best practices in teaching science inquiry and a qualitative coding scheme. Written scientific explanations were analyzed with an explanation rubric and qualitative codes. Relationships between instructional practices and explanation quality were examined. The study found that students struggle to produce high quality explanations. They have the most difficulty including adequate reasoning with science content. Also, teachers need to be familiar with the components of explanation and use a variety of pedagogical techniques to support students' explanation construction. Finally, the topic of the science inquiry activity should be strongly connected to the content in the unit, and students need a firm grasp of the scientific theory or model on which their research questions are based to adequately explain their inquiry results.
Many teacher education programs hire new mentors every year to work with their student teacher population. The literature about teacher mentoring suggests the importance of relevant and ongoing professional development (PD) for teacher mentors at all levels. However, it is much more commonly the case that most teacher mentors volunteer and do not have access to PD. Past research about mentoring provides a descriptive sense of the practices of experienced mentors, especially within a PD context, but little is known about how novice mentors, who are mentoring for the first or the second time, with no prior PD related to mentoring articulate their work as mentors. Using the telling form of narrative inquiry, my study documented how four novice science mentors (NSMs) who had no prior mentoring-related PD articulated the work of mentoring through the stories they told about their past experiences as learners and teachers. The term learner included experiences that the NSMs had before school through K-12 and in their teacher education programs. The experiences as a teacher referred to NSMs' in-service experiences -- teaching, coaching, and mentoring (if any). Each NSM was interviewed once a month for a period of five months. The interviews captured experiences of the NSMs since their childhood to present day experiences as teachers to summarize the experiences that informed their current mentoring practices; to document salient mentoring practices they employed; to identify sources and factors that shaped those practices, and to understand mentoring from mentor teachers' perspectives. Clandinin and Connelly's (2000) three commonplaces (temporality- sociality- place ) framework was used for structuring interview questions and analyzing data. The NSMs employed number of practices discussed in the literature. The study found that the most influential life experiences were upbringing, student teaching, teaching, prior mentoring, and coaching. By taking temporality into
LeDee, Olivia; Mosser, Anna; Gamble, Tony; Childs, Greg; Oberhauser, Karen
The after-school science club at Galtier Math, Science, and Technology Elementary Magnet School in St. Paul, Minnesota, learned some valuable lessons when they took newfound knowledge about pollution into their homes. After learning about the effects of various contaminants on health and what informed citizens can do about it, students tested…
Describes and evaluates an elementary science methods course in which the nature of science and scientific inquiry are embedded and explicitly taught. As a result of the course, incoming conceptions of science as primarily a body of knowledge changed to a more appropriate, blended view of science as a body of knowledge generated through the active…
Duran, Emilio; Ballone-Duran, Lena; Haney, Jodi; Beltyukova, Svetlana
This report aimed to measure the impact of a unique professional development program entitled Project ASTER III (Active Science Teaching Encourages Reform) on teachers' self-efficacy and perceptions about inquiry-based science teaching. Project ASTER III enabled teachers to explore inquiry-based science teaching through exhibit-based…
Ellis, T. D.; TeBockhorst, D.
Teaching Inquiry using NASA Earth-System Science (TINES) is a NASA EPOESS funded program exploring blended professional development for pre- and in-service educators to learn how to conduct meaningful inquiry lessons and projects in the K-12 classroom. This project combines trainings in GLOBE observational protocols and training in the use of NASA Earth Science mission data in a backward-faded scaffolding approach to teaching and learning about scientific inquiry. It also features a unique partnership with the National Science Teachers Association Learning Center to promote cohort building and blended professional development with access to NSTA's collection of resources. In this presentation, we will discuss lessons learned in year one and two of this program and how we plan to further develop this program over the next two years.
Inquiry provides both the impetus and experience that helps students acquire problem solving and lifelong learning skills. Teachers on the Strategies for Assessment of Inquiry Learning in Science Project (SAILS) strengthened their inquiry pedagogy, through focusing on seeking assessment evidence for formative action. This paper reports on both the…
Gates, Harry Alton
This research examined middle school teachers' perspectives and practices of teaching through inquiry and the effect of a professional development institute on effecting change in those teachers' perspectives and practices. The professional development institute consisted of 16 days of content and pedagogical instruction, practice teaching, and reflection. Teachers' perspectives of inquiry were established through semi-structured interviews, journals, and written reflections. Teacher practices were assessed through analysis of videotaped lessons using a rubric designed to measure reformed teaching. Teachers' perspectives of inquiry were compared to their practices and to the National Science Education Standards. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of data it has been found that teacher change is very complex. Professional development must address teacher beliefs, practices, and curriculum. Teachers can adopt the language of reform and imitate reform practices through the use of reform-based curriculum; however, for substantial change in classroom practice to occur, teachers must believe that all students are capable of learning through inquiry.
Rop, Charles J.
This is a set of animal behavior investigations in which students will practice scientific inquiry as they observe crayfish, ask questions, and discuss territoriality, social interactions, and other behaviors. In doing this, they hone their skills of observation, learn to record and analyze data, control for variables, write hypotheses, make…
Rop, Charles J.
Biology teachers know how important it is for them and for their students to engage first-hand with nature. Ideally, bringing students to fields, woodlands, and wetlands to observe, explore, and wonder is the best way to stimulate curiosity and practice scientific inquiry. However, for many reasons, field excursions are not always practical or…
Presents an activity that tests the absorbency of different brands of paper towels. Suggests making this activity into an open-ended inquiry type of activity. Includes sample questions to guide students, topics for class discussion, and sample methods of using the absorbency activity. (KHR)
D'Angelo, Heather Hopkins
This research utilized inquiry based science as a vehicle to implement and maintain social skills training for secondary students, ages 14 to 20, with low-incidence disabilities in a self-contained classroom. This three year action research study examined the effects of an inquiry based science curriculum on the level and quantity of social skills used by students with one or more of the following challenges: significant learning disability (functioning more than two grade levels below grade level), emotional/social disability, mental retardation, Autism, and/or varying degrees of brain damage. Through the use of video recording, the students in the study were analyzed based on the level of social interaction and the amount of socialization that took place during inquiry based science. The skills sought were based on the social and communication skills earmarked in the students' weekly social skills training class and their Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Based on previous research in social skills training it has been determined that where social skills training is lacking are in the areas of transfer and maintenance of skills. Due to the natural social behavior that must take place in inquiry based science this group of students were found to exhibit gains in (1) quantity of social interactions on topic; (2) developing higher levels of social interactions (sharing, taking other's suggestions, listening and responding appropriately, etc.); and (3) maintenance of social skills taught outside of formal social skills training. These gains were seen overall in the amount of student involvement during inquiry based science verses teacher involvement. Such increases are depicted through students' verbal exchanges, excerpts from field notes, and student reflections. The findings of this research is expected to guide special educators, administrators and directors of curriculum as to how to better create curriculum for this specific population where social skills
This study investigated scaffolding elementary school students' formulation of explanations through an 8-week biodiversity curriculum. Authentic inquiry situations in the curriculum provided opportunities for students to conduct elements of scientists' practices in hands-on investigations driven by the students' interests. Three support features-modeled explanations, direct content prompts, and sentence starters-were designed to help students focus on salient features of the inquiry situations. These three support features were placed differently in two treatments. In the consistent support treatment, three support features were present throughout eleven authentic inquiry situations. In the fading support treatment, three support features were gradually withdrawn over the same inquiry situations. The manipulation of the fading dimension of the scaffolding concept was based on the idea that students can learn more effectively when they take more responsibility to complete the learning task as they gain knowledge and experience. Forty-eight students in two 5th/6th combined classes participated. This study was quasi-experimental with two treatment variations. Based on students' prior knowledge and explanation ability, block strategies were used to assign students into the two treatments. Data sources included a multiple-choice test and an open-ended test administered before and after the treatments. Students' written explanations in the eleven inquiry situations were collected. Eighteen students were interviewed after the treatments. Results demonstrate that both groups improved on the multiple-choice and open-ended tests. While these two tests were not sensitive to the treatment differences, students' explanations were a much better indicator of the treatment effects. The consistent support group included fewer valid warrants in explanations before the treatments but gradually outperformed the fading support group as certain support features were withdrawn in the
Deneroff, Victoria Matzenauer
This is an ethnographic case study of one urban high school science teacher who was attempting to use inquiry-based teaching in her practice. Rather than focusing on pedagogy, the study examines the social networks and communities of practice in which Marie Gonzalez participated. I make the argument that science teaching is a Discourse (Gee, 1990), and that teaching inquiry science means constructing an identity as a participant in what I call the Discourse of Inquiry. I also use discourse analysis to tease out a Discourse of Traditional Science Teaching. I conclude that the Traditional and Inquiry Discourses mediate a teacher's ideas of what it means to teach, and that, while Inquiry teachers are "bilingual", that is, able to participate in both Discourses, Traditional teachers are deaf to the Discourse of Inquiry. Moreover, in my study there is convincing evidence that administrators charged with evaluation were also unfamiliar with the Discourse of Inquiry and were therefore unable to provide support for Marie's inquiry practice. In light of these findings, it is not at all surprising that Marie found it quite difficult to use inquiry-based pedagogy. In order for teachers to adopt discourse-based reforms such as inquiry, the Discourse must be available to teachers in their workplaces.
Ryan, Thomas Gerald
This practical participatory action research study illuminates the assessment praxes of four Ontario secondary level science teachers at one school using a facilitative approach. Participants were joined by a thematic concern, that is, a commitment to inform and improve assessment. Hence, two distinct sets of research questions emerged. The first involves the nature of assessment as we asked, what was the current state of assessment practice in secondary science? What were participants' initial understandings of assessment and actual practices at the onset of this research? To what extent did these initial understandings and actual practices change due to the illumination of assessment praxes through action research involvement? What was their level of awareness of current Ontario government pronouncements and in what ways did they implement this knowledge? The second theme, concerning the nature of action research, was realised by asking what did participants learn about action research? What other learning and professional gains were realised during this study? And, what did I learn about action research and assessment through my involvement in this study? Data were collected via supportive discussion groups, individual interviews, classroom visitations, journals and documentation. This professional development experience facilitated 'interactive professionalism' as teachers worked in a small group and interacted frequently in the course of planning, testing new ideas, attempting to solve different problems, and assess the effectiveness of those ideas. In addition, this action research effort was strategic and systematic, to attain a high degree of specific interactions, (personal interviews, group meetings, classroom observations, evidence collection). This series of deliberate and planned intentions helped participants solve assessment dilemmas. We developed an awareness and understanding of the need for more preservice and inservice assessment training
Echoing the current emphasis on examining changes in teacher beliefs, combined with the central role of inquiry in reform, this article argues that science "education" research experiences should hold promise in shaping preservice teachers' beliefs about the role of inquiry in understanding classroom science teaching. The aim of this…
Wolf, Stephen J.; Fraser, Barry J.
This study compared inquiry and non-inquiry laboratory teaching in terms of students' perceptions of the classroom learning environment, attitudes toward science, and achievement among middle-school physical science students. Learning environment and attitude scales were found to be valid and related to each other for a sample of 1,434 students in…
Miller, Bridget T.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of guided science inquiry methods with self-monitoring checklists to support problem-solving for students with moderate cognitive disabilities in both science and functional daily activities. The present study contributes to the literature examining guided inquiry methods as a means for student…
Schneider, Rebecca M.
The development of curriculum materials that are also educative for teachers has been proposed as a strategy to support teachers learning to teach inquiry science. In this study, one seventh-grade teacher used five inquiry science units with varying support for teachers over a two-year period. Teacher journals, interviews, and classroom videotape…
Dreon, Oliver; McDonald, Scott
This phenomenological study demonstrates the influence that affective factors have on beginning teachers' ability to enact inquiry science pedagogy. Through narratives shared in interviews and weblog postings, two beginning science teachers' emotional engagement with their teaching practices, especially that of implementing inquiry-based…
Horton, Linda L.
Science in Action is an education outreach program for pre-collegiate students. It is based on the concept that, in order to interest students in science, they must see science and scientists at work. The program encompasses the full range of scientific disciplines - the core sciences, engineering, and mathematics. A unique aspect of the program is the involvement and support of scientists and engineers representing local professional societies, industries, business, and academic institutions. An outline of the program is given.
Breslyn, Wayne Gene
The present study investigated differences in the continuing development of National Board Certified Science Teachers' (NBCSTs) conceptions of inquiry across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. The central research question of the study was, "How does a NBCST's science discipline (biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics) influence their conceptions, enactment, and goals for inquiry-based teaching and learning?" A mixed methods approach was used that included an analysis of the National Board portfolio entry, Active Scientific Inquiry, for participants (n=48) achieving certification in the 2007 cohort. The portfolio entry provided detailed documentation of teachers' goals and enactment of an inquiry lesson taught in their classroom. Based on the results from portfolio analysis, participant interviews were conducted with science teachers (n=12) from the 2008 NBCST cohort who represented the science disciplines of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. The interviews provided a broader range of contexts to explore teachers' conceptions, enactment, and goals of inquiry. Other factors studied were disciplinary differences in NBCSTs' views of the nature of science, the relation between their science content knowledge and use of inquiry, and changes in their conceptions of inquiry as result of the NB certification process. Findings, based on a situated cognitive framework, suggested that differences exist between biology, chemistry, and earth science teachers' conceptions, enactment, and goals for inquiry. Further, individuals teaching in more than one discipline often held different conceptions of inquiry depending on the discipline in which they were teaching. Implications for the research community include being aware of disciplinary differences in studies on inquiry and exercising caution in generalizing findings across disciplines. In addition, teachers who teach in more than one discipline can highlight the contextual
Resnik, David B.
This article examines the legal and moral basis of affirmative action in science and engineering, in light of recent legal rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. It argues that affirmative action programs can be morally and legally justified on the grounds that they enhance educational experiences and promote creativity, productivity, and success in…
Speck, Angela; Ruzhitskaya, L.; Whittington, A.; Witzig, S.
The U.S. National Science Education Standards provide guidelines for teaching science through inquiry, where students actively develop their understanding of science by combining scientific knowledge with reasoning and thinking skills. Inquiry activities include reading scientific literature, generating hypotheses, designing and carrying out investigations, interpreting data, and formulating conclusions. Inquiry-based instruction emphasizes questions, evidence, and explanation, the essential features of inquiry. We present two projects designed to develop learning materials for laboratory experiences in an undergraduate astronomy course. First, we engage students in inquiry-based learning by using "mini-journal” articles that follow the format of a scientific journal article, including a title, authors, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and citations to peer-reviewed literature. The mini-journal provides a scaffold and serves as a springboard for students to develop and carry out their own follow-up investigation. They then present their findings in the form of their own mini-journal. This mini-journal format more directly reflects and encourages scientific practice. We use this technique in both introductory and upper level courses. The second project develops 3D virtual reality environments to help students interact with scientific constructs, and the use of collaborative learning tools to motivate student activity, deepen understanding and support knowledge building.
Gomez, Mark C.
Both inquiry-based science teaching and online learning opportunities have grown in popularity with recent pressures in the educational field. Despite such interest in both topics, there is both conflicting research and limited research in the effectiveness of inquiry-based teaching methods and online learning respectively. This study focused on the Neighborhood Academic Initiative STEM (NAI-STEM) professional development program that concentrated on inquiry science learning using an online platform. The attendees participated in both synchronous and asynchronous online sessions that facilitated their implementation of an inquiry-based curriculum to urban high school students around the University of Southern California area. The effectiveness of this professional development was assessed using Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation model (1996), utilizing tools such as pre- and post-surveys, teacher observations and interviews, and student pre- and post-assessment scores. Results suggest that inquiry-based teaching is effective in increasing student science academic achievement, but further studies should be conducted to test the generalizability of this professional development design.
Heinz, Jana; Enghag, Margareta; Stuchlikova, Iva; Cakmakci, Gultekin; Peleg, Ran; Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet
This empirical study investigates factors that influence the implementation of science inquiry in the education systems of Turkey, Israel, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Data was collected by means of recordings of science experts' discussions as part of an EU-funded project called Science-Teacher Education Advanced Methods (2009-2012). Results of the qualitative analysis reveal that the following general indicators provide insight into the extent of implementation of inquiry-based science education (IBSE): (1) curriculum (2) assessment (3) policy and (4) teacher professionalization systems. In a second step comparative analyses of the four countries' education systems were conducted with regard to these indicators. To compare these factors we refer to both the framework of neo-institutional theories that explore the emergence of isomorphic educational models and to results from comparative studies emphasizing the influence of the countries' individual structure and cultural practices on modifying global pressure to convergence. Results show that in each of the countries these indicators influence the implementation of science inquiry to varying degrees. Moreover, as a result of the comparative analyses further country specific factors important for implementing science inquiry were found: (5) the need to improve existing teaching methods, (6) predominant teaching patterns, (7) infrastructure that enables changes in education and (8) education system's general goals that correlate with reforms.
Seraphin, Kanesa Duncan; Philippoff, Joanna; Parisky, Alex; Degnan, Katherine; Warren, Diana Papini
A hybrid (face-to-face and online) professional development (PD) course focused on energy science for middle and high school teachers (N = 47) was conducted using the teaching science as inquiry (TSI) framework. Data from the PD indicates that online opportunities enhanced participation and that the TSI structure improved teachers' inquiry implementation. Teachers found the TSI modes of inquiry easily accessible and effectively implemented them (modes correspond to the inquiry mechanisms of investigation, such as product evaluation, authoritative, inductive, deductive, and descriptive). On the other hand, the TSI phase structure (i.e. learning cycle) was most helpful for teachers novice to inquiry teaching, suggesting that modification of the PD is needed to promote more in-depth use of the phases in the TSI framework. In terms of content, teacher interest in energy science was high, which resulted in implementation of energy science activities across a range of disciplines. However, teachers' confidence in teaching energy science through inquiry was low compared to similar TSI PD courses on other subjects (mean perceived pedagogical content knowledge = 8.96 ± 2.07 SD for energy compared to 15.45 ± 1.83, 16.44 ± 1.81 and 15.63 ± 1.69, for elementary astronomy, high school aquatic science, and college aquatic science, respectively). These data support current findings on the complexities of teaching and understanding energy science content and suggest the need for additional teacher PD opportunities in energy science in order to provide opportunities for teachers to increase both their content knowledge and their confidence in teaching energy science.
The study examined the effects of a technology-enhanced inquiry instructional model on students' understanding of science in Thailand. A mixed quantitative research design was selected for the research design. A pretest-posttest control-group design was implemented for the experimental research. A causal-comparative design using questionnaire and classroom observation was employed for the non-experimental research. Two sixth-grade classrooms at a medium-sized public school in Bangkok, Thailand were randomly selected for the study - one as the control group and the other as the experimental group. The 34 students in the control group only received the inquiry instructional model, while the 35 students in the experimental group received the technology-enhanced inquiry instructional model. Both groups of students had been taught by the same science teacher for 15 weeks (three periods per week). The results and findings from the study seemed to indicate that both the technology-enhanced inquiry instructional model and the inquiry instructional model significantly improve students' understanding of science. However, it might be claimed that students receiving the technology-enhanced inquiry instructional model gain more than students only receiving the inquiry instructional model. In addition, the technology-enhanced inquiry instructional model seemed to support the assessment during the 5E Model's evaluation stage. Most students appeared to have very good attitudes toward using it in the science classroom suggesting that the technology-enhanced inquiry instructional model motivates students to learn science.
Krantz, Patrick D.; Barrow, Lloyd H.
The "National Science Education Standards" provide a vision and standard of science instruction that includes not only the factual, content-rich history of science but also an understanding of the processes and skills necessary to "do" science. Moreover, the "Standards" provide the framework for science instruction that embodies the use of…
Tash, Gina G.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of science educators as they select and develop assessment methods for inquiry learning. Balancing preparations for standardized tests and authentic inquiry assessment experiences can be challenging for science educators. The review of literature revealed that current research focused on instructional methods and assessment, students' assessment experiences, and teachers' instructional methods experiences. There remains a gap in current literature regarding the experiences of science educators as they select and develop assessment methods for inquiry learning. This study filled the gap by providing a description of the experiences of science educators as they select and develop assessments for inquiry learning. The participants in this study were 16 fifth through eighth grade science teachers who participate in the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) in northwest Alabama. A phenomenological research method was chosen in order to describe the experiences of AMSTI science teachers as they select and develop assessments for inquiry learning. Data were collected through interviews and focus group discussions. The data analysis used a modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen framework. The results showed AMSTI science teachers use a variety of assessment resources and methods, feel pressures to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and implement varying degrees of change in their assessment process due to No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Contributing a positive social change, this study's findings supplied science teachers with descriptions of successful inquiry classrooms and creative assessments that correspond to inquiry-based learning methods.
Irish, Tobias E. L.
This multiple case study explores issues of equity in science education through an examination of how teachers' reasoning patterns compare with students' reasoning patterns during inquiry-based lessons. It also examines the ways in which teachers utilize students' cultural and linguistic resources, or funds of knowledge, during inquiry-based lessons and the ways in which students utilize their funds of knowledge, during inquiry-based lessons. Three middle school teachers and a total of 57 middle school students participated in this study. The data collection involved classroom observations and multiple interviews with each of the teachers individually and with small groups of students. The findings indicate that the students are capable of far more complex reasoning than what was elicited by the lessons observed or what was modeled and expected by the teachers, but that during the inquiry-based lessons they conformed to the more simplistic reasoning patterns they perceived as the expected norm of classroom dialogue. The findings also indicate that the students possess funds of knowledge that are relevant to science topics, but very seldom use these funds in the context of their inquiry-based lessons. In addition, the teachers in this study very seldom worked to elicit students' use of their funds in these contexts. The few attempts they did make involved the use of analogies, examples, or questions. The findings from this study have implications for both teachers and teacher educators in that they highlight similarities and differences in reasoning that can help teachers establish instructional congruence and facilitate more equitable science instruction. They also provide insight into how students' cultural and linguistic resources are utilized during inquiry-based science lessons.
Miller, Donna Kaye Green
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to measure the difference in science achievement between students who had been taught with an inquiry-based, hands-on pedagogical approach and those who had not. Improving student academic achievement and standardized test scores is the major objective of teachers, parents, school administrators, government entities, and students themselves. One major barrier to this academic success in Georgia, and the entire United States, has been the paucity of success in middle level science classes. Many studies have been conducted to determine the learning approaches that will best enable students to not only acquire a deeper understanding of science concepts, but to equip them to apply that new knowledge in their daily activities. Inquiry-based, hands-on learning involves students participating in activities that reflect methods of scientific investigation. The effective utilization of the inquiry-based learning approach demands inclusion of learners in a self-directed learning environment, the ability to think critically, and an understanding of how to reflect and reason scientifically. The treatment group using an inquiry-based, hands-on program did score slightly higher on the CRCT. However, the results revealed that there was not a significant difference in student achievement. This study showed that the traditionally instructed control group had slightly higher interest in science than the inquiry-based treatment group. The findings of this research study indicated that the NCLB mandates might need to be altered if there are no significant academic gains that result from the use of inquiry-based strategies.
Wilke, R. Russell; Straits, William J.
Inquiry learning is student-based exploration of an authentic problem using the processes and tools of the discipline. Often inquiry learning is presented in a fashion that mirrors the scientific method, proceeding from identification of a problem to reporting of findings. In post-secondary settings, these scientific-method inquiry exercises…
This paper explores the potential for using dream material and social dreaming in action research. Access to emotional dimensions of experience is increasingly recognised as an issue for action researchers, raising questions about how to enable such inquiry and how material from the imaginative sphere may be brought into socially constituted…
van Uum, Martina S. J.; Verhoeff, Roald P.; Peeters, Marieke
Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) has been promoted as an inspiring way of learning science by engaging pupils in designing and conducting their own scientific investigations. For primary school teachers, the open nature of IBSE poses challenges as they often lack experience in supporting their pupils during the different phases of an open IBSE project, such as formulating a research question and designing and conducting an investigation. The current study aims to meet these challenges by presenting a pedagogical framework in which four domains of scientific knowledge are addressed in seven phases of inquiry. The framework is based on video analyses of pedagogical interventions by primary school teachers participating in open IBSE projects. Our results show that teachers can guide their pupils successfully through the process of open inquiry by explicitly addressing the conceptual, epistemic, social and/or procedural domain of scientific knowledge in the subsequent phases of inquiry. The paper concludes by suggesting further research to validate our framework and to develop a pedagogy for primary school teachers to guide their pupils through the different phases of open inquiry.
Weaver, C. P.; Mooney, Sian; Allen, D.; Beller-Simms, Nancy; Fish, T.; Grambsch, A.; Hohenstein, W.; Jacobs, Kathy; Kenney, Melissa A.; Lane, Meredith A.; Langner, L.; Larson, E.; McGinnis, D. L.; Moss, Richard H.; Nichols, L. G.; Nierenberg, Claudia; Seyller, E. A.; Stern, Paul; Winthrop, R.
US efforts to integrate social and biophysical sciences to address the issue of global change exist within a wider movement to understand global change as a societal challenge and to inform policy. Insights from the social sciences can help transform global change research into action.
Krajcik, Joseph; Blumenfeld, Phyllis C.; Marx, Ronald W.; Bass, Kristin M.; Fredricks, Jennifer; Soloway, Elliot
Inquiry is an essential component of science learning. Eight case studies of students as they designed and carried out their own investigations during two projects showed that middle school students were thoughtful in designing investigations and planning procedures. Areas of weakness included failure to focus on scientific questions and to…
Lee, Il-Sun; Byeon, Jung-Ho; Kwon, Yong-Ju
The purpose of this study was to design a teaching method suitable for science high school students using atomic force microscopy. During their scientific inquiry procedure, high school students observed a micro-nanostructure of a biological sample, which is unobservable via an optical microscope. The developed teaching method enhanced students'…
Radford, David L.; Ramsey, Linda L.
This study was designed to investigate the effect on teachers and their students of a model of professional development that immerses teachers in scientific inquiry appropriate to their classrooms while modeling the use of reform-based pedagogical strategies for teaching science. The course was designed and team taught as a collaborative effort…
Dodds, Heather E.
Online education has grown into a part of the educational market answering the demand for learning at the learner's choice of time and place. Inquiry skills such as observing, questioning, collecting data, and devising fair experiments are an essential element of 21st-century online science coursework. Virtual immersive worlds such as Second Life…
Schifter, Catherine C.; Ketelhut, Diane Jass; Nelson, Brian C.
Technology offers many opportunities for educators to support teaching, learning and assessment. This paper introduces a project to design and implement a virtual environment (SAVE Science) intended to assess (not teach) middle school students' knowledge and use of scientific inquiry through two modules developed around curriculum taught in middle…
Sever, Demet; Guven, Meral
The aim of this study was to identify the resistance behaviors of 7th grade students exhibited during their Science and Technology course teaching-learning processes, and to remove the identified resistance behaviors through teaching-learning processes that were constructed based on the inquiry-based learning approach. In the quasi-experimentally…
Griffin, Thomas D.; Wiley, Jennifer; Britt, M. Anne; Salas, Carlos R.
The main goal for the current study was to investigate whether individual differences in domain-general thinking dispositions might affect learning from multiple-document inquiry tasks in science. Middle school students were given a set of documents and were tasked with understanding how and why recent patterns in global temperature might be…
Beals, Ashlie M.; Krall, Rebecca M.
The use of inquiry in life science can be particularly daunting because of the additional management and care living systems require. However, there are some low-maintenance organisms that work well in the classroom. One of these is the common fruit fly, "Drosophila melanogaster." Its small size, low cost, easy availability and maintenance, and…
Ruggirello, Rachel M.; Balcerzak, Phyllis; May, Victoria L.; Blankenship, Robert E.
The process of photosynthesis is central to science curriculum at all levels. This article describes an inquiry-based laboratory investigation developed to explore the impact of light quality on photosynthesis and to connect this process to current research on harvesting solar energy, including bioenergy, artificial photosynthesis, and solar…
The purpose of this study was to identify the teaching models contained in teacher's editions of selected junior high school inquiry science materials. The methodology employed a systematic content analysis of the teacher's editions using an instrument of the investigator's design. The sample consisted of the commercially published teacher's…
Suits, Jerry P.
A laboratory practical examination was used to compare the investigative skills developed in two different types of general-chemistry laboratory courses. Science and engineering majors (SEM) in the control group used a traditional verification approach (SEM-Ctrl), whereas those in the treatment group learned from an innovative, inquiry-based…
Beets, Mary Mitchell
The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate television as an instructional medium for teaching creative thinking to fifth and sixth grade students by use of the "inquiry" method of instruction in the area of science. A secondary purpose was to determine the effect of student involvement in the live telecasts on their performance on a test…
The new Minnesota Case Study Collection is profiled, along with other examples. They complement the work of the HIPST Project in illustrating the aims of: (1) historically informed inquiry learning that fosters explicit NOS reflection, and (2) engagement with faithfully rendered samples of Whole Science.
Eisenkraft, Arthur; Flatow, Ira; Friedman, Alan J.; Kirsch, Jeffrey W.; Macdonald, Maritza; Marshall, Eric; McCallie, Ellen; Nesbit, Trevor; Prosino, Rebecca Nesbitt; Petit, Charles; Schubel, Jerry R.; Traill, Saskia; Wharton, Dan; Williams, Steven H.; Witte, Joe
The goal of the CAISE "Policy Study Inquiry Group" (PSIG) was to inventory and comment on policies (current or potential, organizational or governmental, explicit or implicit) which affect the capacity of informal science education to have an impact. This group represented a cross-section of organizations and entities that touch upon or play a…
In this essay, Gary Thomas argues that education research repeatedly makes a mistake first noted by Dewey: it misunderstands our science. This misunderstanding has led to attempts to import various putatively scientific precepts into education inquiry. But in reality, he argues, those "scientific" precepts do not characterize scientific endeavor,…
Problem finding is a creative process whereby individuals develop original ideas for study. Secondary science students who successfully participate in authentic, novel, open inquiry studies must engage in problem finding to determine viable and suitable topics. This study examined problem finding strategies employed by students who successfully…
Bartos, Stephen A.
Research on nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI) has indicated that a teacher's knowledge of each, however well developed, is not sufficient to ensure that these views necessarily manifest themselves in classroom practice (Lederman & Druger, 1985; Lederman, 2007). In light of the considerable research that has examined teachers'…
Rangachari, P. K.
This report describes an experiment to introduce freshmen science students to inquiry-based learning. The overarching theme was the communication of scientific information to the public by the mass media. Students, working in groups, deconstructed news items (many dealing with basic biomedical issues) and assessed the veracity of statements with…
Adams, Jennifer; Luitel, Bal Chandra; Afonso, Emilia; Taylor, Peter Charles
This forum constitutes a cogenerative inquiry using postcolonial theory drawn from the review paper by Zembylas and Avraamidou. Three teacher educators from African, Asian and Caribbean countries reflect on problems confronting their professional practices and consider the prospects of creating culturally inclusive science education. We learn that…
Yang, Kuay-Keng; Lin, Shu-Fen; Hong, Zuway-R; Lin, Huann-shyang
The purposes of this study were to (a) develop and validate instruments to assess elementary students' scientific creativity and science inquiry, (b) investigate the relationship between the two competencies, and (c) compare the two competencies among different grade level students. The scientific creativity test was composed of 7 open-ended items…
Turkan, Sultan; Liu, Ou Lydia
The performance of English language learners (ELLs) has been a concern given the rapidly changing demographics in US K-12 education. This study aimed to examine whether students' English language status has an impact on their inquiry science performance. Differential item functioning (DIF) analysis was conducted with regard to ELL status on an…
van der Meij, Hans; van der Meij, Jan; Harmsen, Ruth
This study focuses on the design and testing of a motivational animated pedagogical agent (APA) in an inquiry learning environment on kinematics. The aim of including the APA was to enhance students' perceptions of task relevance and self-efficacy. Given the under-representation of girls in science classrooms, special attention was given to…
Danish, Joshua A.; Peppler, Kylie; Phelps, David
All too often, designers assume that complex science and cycles of inquiry are beyond the capabilities of young children (5-8 years old). However, with carefully designed mediators, we argue that such concepts are well within their grasp. In this paper we describe two design iterations of the BeeSign simulation software that was designed to help…
Hugerat, Muhamad; Kortam, Naji
Twenty-eight freshmen majoring in biology and/or chemistry in an Arab college in Israel, were given a pre-test and a post-test in which they had to identify the control group and design a controlled experiment. During the course an intervention was used. Science was taught by inquiry while using strategies that promote higher-order thinking skills…
Shively, Chris T.; Yerrick, Randy
Inquiry has been the framework for guiding reform-based science instruction. All too often, the role of technology is treated tacitly without contributions to this framework. This case study examines a collection of pre-service teachers enrolling in two educational technology courses and the role these experiences play in promoting inquiry…
Computational experiment approach considers models as the fundamental instructional units of Inquiry Based Science and Mathematics Education (IBSE) and STEM Education, where the model take the place of the "classical" experimental set-up and simulation replaces the experiment. Argumentation in IBSE and STEM education is related to the…
Chang, Huey-Por; Chen, Chin-Chang; Guo, Gwo-Jen; Cheng, Yeong-Jin; Lin, Chen-Yung; Jen, Tsung-Hau
The objective of this study was to develop an instrument to measure school students' competence in learning science as part of a large research project in Taiwan. The instrument consisted of 29 self-report, Likert-type items divided into 2 scales: Competence in Scientific Inquiry and Competence in Communication. The Competence in Scientific…
Al-Naqbi, Ali Khalfan
This research investigated Grades 5 and 6 science workbooks for the degree to which they promote scientific inquiry abilities, opportunities that students had to acquire these abilities and the obstacles hindering students from implementing them. A document review technique and a constant comparative method were applied sequentially. A total of 58…
Bartos, Stephen A.; Lederman, Norman G.
Research on nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI) has indicated that a teacher's knowledge of each, however well developed, is not sufficient to ensure that these conceptions necessarily manifest themselves in classroom practice (Lederman & Druger, 1985; Lederman, 2007). In light of considerable research that has examined…
McConney, Andrew; Oliver, Mary C.; Woods-McConney, Amanda; Schibeci, Renato; Maor, Dorit
In this study, we examine patterns of students' literacy and engagement in science associated with different levels of "inquiry-oriented" learning reported by students in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. To achieve this, we analyzed data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's 2006 Programme for…
Ash, Doris; Brown, Candice; Kluger-Bell, Barry; Hunter, Lisa
The research reported here documents scientists' changing practices and attitudes concerning college teaching. Graduate students and postdoctoral scientists participated in long-term, inquiry-based teaching professional development while maintaining an ongoing commitment to research science. Data analysis focused on digital recording and…
Gray, Ron E.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine scientific arguments constructed by secondary science teachers during instruction. The analysis focused on how arguments constructed by teachers differed based on the mode of inquiry underlying the topic. Specifically, how did the structure and content of arguments differ between experimentally…
Forbes, Cory T.; Davis, Elizabeth A.
Curriculum materials are crucial tools with which teachers engage students in science as inquiry. In order to use curriculum materials effectively, however, teachers must develop a robust capacity for pedagogical design, or the ability to mobilize a variety of personal and curricular resources to promote student learning. The purpose of this study…
Kawalkar, Aisha; Vijapurkar, Jyotsna
We present an analysis of students' reflective writing (diaries) of two cohorts of Grade 8 students, one undergoing inquiry and the other traditional science teaching. Students' writing included a summary of what students had learned in class on that day and their opinions and feelings about the class. The entries were analysed qualitatively and…
Abraham, Michael R.
The verbal interaction of science inquiries in homogeneous and heterogeneous small groups was investigated in this study involving 106 students of chemistry from two schools in a large urban district. Films depicting chemical phenomena were presented. Students were then divided into small groups and asked to generate test hypotheses to explain the…
Liljestrom, Anu; Enkenberg, Jorma; Pollanen, Sinikka
This design experiment aimed to answer the question of how to mediate the practices of authentic science inquiries in primary education. An instructional approach based on activity theory was designed and carried out with multi-age students in a small village school. An open-ended learning task was offered to the older students. Their task was to…
Beach, Richard; O'Brien, David
This study examined 6th graders' use of the VoiceThread app as part of a science inquiry project on photosynthesis and carbon dioxide emissions in terms of their ability to engage in causal reasoning and their use of the affordances of multimodality, collaboration, interactivity, and connectivity. Students employed multimodal production using…
Ketelhut, Diane Jass; Nelson, Brian C.; Clarke, Jody; Dede, Chris
This study investigated novel pedagogies for helping teachers infuse inquiry into a standards-based science curriculum. Using a multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) as a pedagogical vehicle, teams of middle-school students collaboratively solved problems around disease in a virtual town called River City. The students interacted with "avatars" of…
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of inquiry-based learning method on students' academic achievement in sciences lesson. A total of 40 fifth grade students from two different classes were involved in the study. They were selected through purposive sampling method. The group which was assigned as experimental group was…
Lee, Okhee; Buxton, Cory; Lewis, Scott; LeRoy, Kathryn
This study examines elementary students' abilities to conduct science inquiry through their participation in an instructional intervention over a school year. The study involved 25 third and fourth grade students from six elementary schools representing diverse linguistic and cultural groups. Prior to and at the completion of the intervention, the…
Herrington, Deborah G.; Bancroft, Senetta F.; Edwards, Molly M.; Schairer, Caroline J.
This qualitative study examined how and why research experiences for teachers (RETs) influenced middle and high school science teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and values about teaching science as inquiry. Changes teachers reported after participating in the RET ranged from modifying a few lessons (belief change) to a comprehensive revision of what…
Seraphin, Kanesa Duncan; Philippoff, Joanna; Parisky, Alex; Degnan, Katherine; Warren, Diana Papini
A hybrid (face-to-face and online) professional development (PD) course focused on energy science for middle and high school teachers (N = 47) was conducted using the teaching science as inquiry (TSI) framework. Data from the PD indicates that online opportunities enhanced participation and that the TSI structure improved teachers' inquiry…
Schwartz, Renee S.; Lederman, Norman G.; Crawford, Barbara A.
Reform efforts emphasize teaching science to promote contemporary views of the nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry. Within the framework of situated cognition, the assertion is that engagement in inquiry activities similar to those of scientists provides a learning context conducive to developing knowledge about the methods and…
Bell, Randy L.; Blair, Lesley M.; Crawford, Barbara A.; Lederman, Norman G.
Explicates the impact of an 8-week science apprenticeship program on a group of high-ability secondary students' understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry. Reports that although most students did appear to gain knowledge about the process of scientific inquiry, their conceptions about key aspects of the nature of science…
Despite a growing consensus regarding the value of inquiry-based learning (IBL) for students' learning and engagement in the science classroom, the implementation of such practices continues to be a challenge. If science teachers are to use IBL to develop students' inquiry practices and encourage them to think and act as scientists, a better…
Rinke, Carol R.; Gimbel, Steven J.; Haskell, Sophie
Although classroom inquiry is the primary pedagogy of science education, it has often been difficult to implement within conventional classroom cultures. This study turned to the alternatively structured Montessori learning environment to better understand the ways in which it fosters the essential elements of classroom inquiry, as defined by prominent policy documents. Specifically, we examined the opportunities present in Montessori classrooms for students to develop an interest in the natural world, generate explanations in science, and communicate about science. Using ethnographic research methods in four Montessori classrooms at the primary and elementary levels, this research captured a range of scientific learning opportunities. The study found that the Montessori learning environment provided opportunities for students to develop enduring interests in scientific topics and communicate about science in various ways. The data also indicated that explanation was largely teacher-driven in the Montessori classroom culture. This study offers lessons for both conventional and Montessori classrooms and suggests further research that bridges educational contexts.
Demirbag, Mehmet; Gunel, Murat
This study aims to investigate the effect of integrating the Argument-Based Science Inquiry (ABSI) approach with multi-modal representations on students' achievement, and their argumentation and writing skills. The study was conducted with 62 female and 57 male college students at the Central Anatolian Turkish University. All participants…
Ramnarain, Umesh; Schuster, David
In recent years, inquiry-based science instruction has become widely advocated in science education standards in many countries and, hence, in teacher preparation programmes. Nevertheless, in practice, one finds a wide variety of science instructional approaches. In South Africa, as in many countries, there is also a great disparity in school demographic situations, which can also affect teaching practices. This study investigated the pedagogical orientations of in-service physical sciences teachers at a diversity of schools in South Africa. Assessment items in a Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT) were used to identify teachers' science teaching orientations, and reasons for pedagogical choices were probed in interviews. The findings reveal remarkable differences between the orientations of teachers at disadvantaged township schools and teachers at more privileged suburban schools. We found that teachers at township schools have a strong `active direct' teaching orientation overall, involving direct exposition of the science followed by confirmatory practical work, while teachers at suburban schools exhibit a guided inquiry orientation, with concepts being developed via a guided exploration phase. The study identified contextual factors such as class size, availability of resources, teacher competence and confidence, time constraints, student ability, school culture and parents' expectations as influencing the methods adopted by teachers. In view of the recent imperative for inquiry-based learning in the new South African curriculum, this study affirms the context specificity of curriculum implementation (Bybee 1993) and suggests situational factors beyond the curriculum mandate that need to be addressed to achieve successful inquiry-based classroom instruction in science.
This study investigates the effects of an intensive 1-week Inquiry-Based Science and Technology Enrichment Program (InSTEP) designed for middle school-aged female students. InSTEP uses a guided/open inquiry approach that is deepened and redefined as eight sciences and engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards, which aimed at increasing female students' interest in science and science-related careers. This study examined the effectiveness of InSTEP on 123 female students' pre-assessment and post-assessment changes in attitudes toward science and content knowledge of selected science concepts. An attitude survey, a science content test with multiple-choice questions, written assignments, and interviews to collect data were all used to measure students' attitudes and content knowledge. A within-group, repeated measure design was conducted, and the results indicated that at the post-intervention level, InSTEP increased the participants' positive attitudes toward science, science-related careers, and content knowledge of selected science concepts.
Staver, John R.; Bay, Mary
The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine selected units of commonly used elementary science texts, using the Project Synthesis goal clusters as a framework for part of the examination. An inquiry classification scheme was used for the remaining segment. Four questions were answered: (1) To what extent do elementary science textbooks focus on each Project Synthesis goal cluster? (2) In which part of the text is such information found? (3) To what extent are the activities and experiments merely verifications of information already introduced in the text? (4) If inquiry is present in an activity, then what is the level of such inquiry?Eleven science textbook series, which comprise approximately 90 percent of the national market, were selected for analysis. Two units, one primary (K-3) and one intermediate (4-6), were selected for analysis by first identifying units common to most series, then randomly selecting one primary and one intermediate unit for analysis.Each randomly selected unit was carefully read, using the sentence as the unit of analysis. Each declarative and interrogative sentence in the body of the text was classified as: (1) academic; (2) personal; (3) career; or (4) societal in its focus. Each illustration, except those used in evaluation items, was similarly classified. Each activity/experiment and each miscellaneous sentence in end-of-chapter segments labelled review, summary, evaluation, etc., were similarly classified. Finally, each activity/experiment, as a whole, was categorized according to a four-category inquiry scheme (confirmation, structured inquiry, guided inquiry, open inquiry).In general, results of the analysis are: (1) most text prose focuses on academic science; (2) most remaining text prose focuses on the personal goal cluster; (3) the career and societal goal clusters receive only minor attention; (4) text illustrations exhibit a pattern similar to text prose; (5) text activities/experiments are academic in orientation
On October 8--10, 1989, the US Department of Energy, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory sponsored a Math/Science Education Action Conference in Berkeley, California. The conference was co-chaired by Admiral James D. Watkins, Secretary of Energy, and Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg Chairman of the Lawrence Hall of Science. Nearly 250 scientists, educators, business executives, and government leaders came together to develop a concrete plan of action for restructuring and revitalizing mathematics and science education. Their target was to improve education for an entire cohort of children--the Class of 2007, the children born this school year--and their governing principle was one of collaboration, both between Federal agencies, and between public and private sectors. The report of the conference co-chairmen and participants is provided in this document. 41 figs.
Melville, Wayne; Campbell, Todd; Fazio, Xavier; Bartley, Anthony
This article investigates the extent to which a science department script supports the teaching and learning of science as inquiry and how this script is translated into individual teachers' classrooms. This study was completed at one school in Canada which, since 2000, has developed a departmental script supportive of teaching and learning of science as inquiry. Through a mixed-method strategy, multiple data sources were drawn together to inform a cohesive narrative about scripts, science departments, and individual classrooms. Results of the study reveal three important findings: (1) the departmental script is not an artefact, but instead is an ongoing conversation into the episteme, techne and phronesis of science teaching; (2) the consistently reformed teaching practices that were observed lead us to believe that a departmental script has the capacity to enhance the teaching of science as inquiry; and, (3) the existence of a departmental script does not mean that teaching will be `standardized' in the bureaucratic sense of the word. Our findings indicate that a departmental script can be considered to concurrently operate as an epistemic script that is translated consistently across the classes, and a social script that was more open to interpretation within individual teachers' classrooms.
Capobianco, Brenda M.
The underrepresentation of women and minorities in science is an extensively studied yet persistent concern of our society. Major reform movements in science education suggest that better teaching, higher standards, and sensitivity to student differences can overcome long-standing obstacles to participation among women and minorities. In response to these major reform movements, researchers have suggested teachers transform their goals, science content, and instructional practices to make science more attractive and inviting to all students, particularly young women and minorities (Barton, 1998; Brickhouse, 1994; Mayberry & Rees, 1999; Rodriguez, 1999; Roychoudhury, Tippins, & Nichols, 1995). One of the more dominant approaches currently heralded is the use of feminist pedagogy in science education. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways eleven middle and high school science teachers worked collaboratively to engage in systematic, self-critical inquiry of their own practice and join with other science teachers to engage in collaborative conversations in effort to transform their practice for a more equitable science education. Data were gathered via semi-structured interviews, whole group discussions, classroom observations, and review of supporting documents. Data analysis was based on grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) and open coding (Miles and Huberman, 1994). This study described the collective processes the science teachers and university researcher employed to facilitate regular collaborative action research meetings over the course of six months. Findings indicated that engaging in collaborative action research allowed teachers to gain new knowledge about feminist science teaching, generate a cluster of pedagogical possibilities for inclusive pedagogy, and enhance their understanding for science teaching. Additional findings indicated dilemmas teachers experienced including resistance to a feminist agenda and concerns for validity in action
Grady, Julie R.
The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to investigate the practice of scientific inquiry in two secondary biology classes and one agriculture class from different schools in different communities. The focus was on teachers' interests and intentions for the students' participation in inquiry, the voices contributing to the inquiry, and students' opportunities to confront their conceptions of the nature of science (NOS). The Partnership for Research and Education in Plants (PREP) served as the context by providing students with opportunities to design and conduct original experiments to help elucidate the function(s) of a disabled gene in Arabidopsis thaliana . Transcripts of teacher and student semi-structured interviews, field notes of classroom observations and classroom conversations, and documents (e.g., student work, teacher handouts, school websites, PREP materials) were analyzed for evidence of the practice of scientific inquiry. Teachers were interested in implementing inquiry because of potential student learning about scientific research and because PREP supports course content and is connected to a larger scientific project outside of the school. Teachers' intentions regarding the implementation of inquiry reflected the complexity of their courses and the students' previous experiences. All inquiries were student-directed. The biology students' participation more closely mirrored the practice of scientists, while the agriculture students were more involved with the procedural display of scientific inquiry. All experiences could have been enhanced from additional knowledge-centered activities regarding scientific reasoning. No activities brought explicit attention to NOS. Biology activities tended to implicitly support NOS while the agriculture class activities tended to implicitly contradict NOS. Scientists' interactions contributed to implied support of the NOS. There were missed opportunities for explicit attention to NOS in all classes
Brown, Tammy Colburn
Understanding what influences images elementary students create about science has been researched for 30 years. This researcher sought to understand how the way science is presented in school influences images elementary students hold about science. The study's questions included: (1) What images of science do 2nd and 4th grade students portray through dialogue as they experience read alouds of informational science texts? (2) What images of science do 2nd and 4th grade students portray through dialogue as they experience science through inquiry with manipulative objects? and (3) What lifeworld resources influence students' images of science? Drawing upon symbolic interaction within a sociocultural framework, this qualitative study began during the summer of 2005 while students were enrolled in a summer program at their school and continued into the fall of 2007. Primary data included transcripts of students' dialogue during sessions, interviews, observations, field notes, demographic data, and assessment data. The researcher conducted 3 sessions with each of 4 groups of 3 students, spending 30 minutes observing, listening, and taping students in each session. All 12 students were interviewed after each of the 3 sessions on the same day resulting in approximately 18 hours of audiotapes. The researcher met with reading coaches, parents, and the selected students' teachers. Observations of the students and teachers in the context of their school environment were also made throughout the 2006-2007 regular school year. Emergent themes suggest that despite students using process skills in both sessions, the informational book reading sessions were ritualized such that the students viewed the experience as a reading exercise only and not being a scientist. In contrast, students in the manipulative sessions saw themselves as acting like or being scientists. Last, students in both sessions drew upon funds of knowledge accrued from sociocultural influences and home
Manocchi-Verrino, Carol J.
A call for a new perspective of science literacy has been marked as the impetus of change in science education, suggesting that a meaning-making approach to literacy and inquiry are central to learning science. This research study explored how science literacy evolved in a classroom where this reconceptualized view of science literacy guided curriculum design and instruction. The teacher/researcher incorporated Interactive Science Notebooks (ISNs) and Interactive Reading Organizers and Comprehension Strategies (IROCS) into instructional materials. In a class consisting of 20 mainstream and special education students, this 7-week study collected data using Likert scales, stimulated recall interviews, a teacher/researcher journal, and students¡¦ position papers. A systematic design framework was used for the three-phase analysis. Hyperresearch RTM software facilitated the identification of open codes, an axial code, and frequency graphs. In order to develop insight into the relationship between questions, methods, and curriculum design recent recommendations for quality research in science education were considered in the methodology. The hypothesis formulated from the data suggests that science literacy evolves on a continuum, and the degree to which science literacy evolves on the continuum seems to be contingent upon their uses of intertextual connections and inquiry behaviors. Several notable insights emerged from the data which were used to guide curriculum, instruction, and assessment that promotes the development of science literacy in the middle school classroom. The study suggests a possible correlation between the use of intertextual connections and inquiry behaviors, and the use of a continuum in measuring the emergence of science literacy.
Walan, Susanne; Mc Ewen, Birgitta
Inquiry- and context-based teaching strategies have been proven to stimulate and motivate students' interests in learning science. In this study, 12 teachers reflected on these strategies after using them in primary schools. The teachers participated in a continuous professional development (CPD) programme. During the programme, they were also introduced to a teaching model from a European project, where inquiry- and context-based education (IC-BaSE) strategies were fused. The research question related to teachers' reflections on these teaching strategies, and whether they found the model to be useful in primary schools after testing it with their students. Data collection was performed during the CPD programme and consisted of audio-recorded group discussions, individual portfolios and field notes collected by researchers. Results showed that compared with using only one instructional strategy, teachers found the new teaching model to be a useful complement. However, their discussions also showed that they did not reflect on choices of strategies or purposes and aims relating to students' understanding, or the content to be taught. Before the CPD programme, teachers discussed the use of inquiry mainly from the aspect that students enjoy practical work. After the programme, they identified additional reasons for using inquiry and discussed the importance of knowing why inquiry is performed. However, to develop teachers' knowledge of instructional strategies as well as purposes for using certain strategies, there is need for further investigations among primary school teachers.
Lodico, J. M.; Greely, T.; Lodge, A.; Pyrtle, A.; Ivey, S.; Madeiros, A.; Saleem, S.
The University of South Florida, College of Marine Science Oceans: GK-12 Teaching Fellowship Program is successfully enriching science learning via the oceans. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program provides a unique opportunity among scientists and K-12 teachers to interact with the intention of bringing ocean science concepts and research to the classroom environment enhance the experience of learning and doing science, and to promote `citizen scientists' for the 21st century. The success of the program relies heavily on the extensive summer training program where graduate students develop teaching skills, create inquiry based science activities for a summer Oceanography Camp for Girls program and build a relationship with their mentor teacher. For the last year and a half, two graduate students from the College of Marine Science have worked in cooperation with teachers from the Pinellas county School District, Southside Fundamental Middle School. Successful lesson plans brought into a 6th grade Earth Science classroom include Weather and climate: Global warming, The Geologic timescale: It's all about time, Density: Layering liquids, and Erosion processes: What moves water and sediment. The school and students have benefited greatly from the program experiencing hands-on inquiry based science and the establishment of an after school science club providing opportunities for students to work on their science fair projects and pursuit other science interests. Students are provided scoring rubrics and their progress is creatively assessed through KWL worksheets, concept maps, surveys, oral one on one and classroom discussions and writing samples. The year culminated with a series of hands on lessons at the nearby beach, where students demonstrated their mastery of skills through practical application. Benefits to the graduate student include improved communication of current science research to a diverse audience, a better understanding of the
So, Wing-Mui Winnie; Cheng, May-Hung May; Kong, Siu-Cheung; Ching, Ngai-Ying Fiona
This study investigates Hong Kong primary science teachers' understandings of inquiry learning, perceived difficulties in implementing inquiry learning, as well as their current practices of and resistance to using online resources, in order to identify their needs and propose suggestions to address these needs. An online survey has been used…
Chen, Ching-Huei; Chen, Chia-Ying
This study examined the effects of an inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach compared to that of a problem-based learning (PBL) approach on learner performance, attitude toward science and inquiry ability. Ninety-six students from three 7th-grade classes at a public school were randomly assigned to two experimental groups and one control group. All…
Zacharia, Zacharias C.; Manoli, Constantinos; Xenofontos, Nikoletta; de Jong, Ton; Pedaste, Margus; van Riesen, Siswa A.; Kamp, Ellen T.; Mäeots, Mario; Siiman, Leo; Tsourlidaki, Eleftheria
The aim of this review is to identify specific types of guidance for supporting student use of online labs, that is, virtual and remote labs, in an inquiry context. To do so, we reviewed the literature on providing guidance within computer supported inquiry learning (CoSIL) environments in science education and classified all identified guidance…
Ozdem, Yasemin; Ertepinar, Hamide; Cakiroglu, Jale; Erduran, Sibel
The aim of this study was to investigate the kinds of argumentation schemes generated by pre-service elementary science teachers (PSTs) as they perform inquiry-oriented laboratory tasks, and to explore how argumentation schemes vary by task as well as by experimentation and discussion sessions. The model of argumentative and scientific inquiry was…
Kim, Mijung; Chin, Christine
Despite inquiry-based teaching was introduced and encouraged as significant tool to develop students' scientific knowledge and habits of mind, its implementation has not been well established in science classrooms in Korea. To understand the challenges and difficulties of the practice of inquiry practical work, this study particularly aims to…
Horne, Christopher R.
This study explores the experiences of 4th grade students in an inquiry-based space science classroom. At the heart of the study lies the essential question: What is the lived experience of children engaged in the process of space science inquiry? Through the methodology of phenomenological inquiry, the author investigates the essence of the lived experience of twenty 4th grade students as well as the reflections of two high school students looking back on their 4th grade space science experience. To open the phenomenon more deeply, the concept of space is explored as an overarching theme throughout the text. The writings of several philosophers including Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer are opened up to understand the existential aspects of phenomenology and the act of experiencing the classroom as a lived human experience. The methodological structure for the study is based largely on the work of Max van Manen (2003) in his seminal work, Researching Lived Experience, which describes a structure of human science research. A narrative based on classroom experiences, individual conversations, written reflections, and group discussion provides insight into the students' experiences. Their stories and thoughts reveal the themes of activity , interactivity, and "inquiractivity," each emerging as an essential element of the lived experience in the inquiry-based space science classroom. The metaphor of light brings illumination to the themes. Activity in the classroom is associated with light's constant and rapid motion throughout the Milky Way and beyond. Interactivity is seen through students' interactions just as light's reflective nature is seen through the illumination of the planets. Finally, inquiractivity is connected to questioning, the principal aspect of the inquiry-based classroom just as the sun is the essential source of light in our solar system. As the era of No Child Left Behind fades, and the next generation of science standards emerge, the
Nam, Jeonghee; Seung, Eulsun; Go, MunSuk
This study investigated how a collaborative mentoring program influenced beginning science teachers' inquiry-based teaching and their reflection on practice. The one-year program consisted of five one-on-one mentoring meetings, weekly science education seminars, weekly mentoring group discussions, and self-evaluation activities. The participants were three beginning science teachers and three mentors at the middle school level (7-9th grades) in an urban area of South Korea. For each beginning teacher, five lessons were evaluated in terms of lesson design/implementation, procedural knowledge, and classroom culture by using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol. Five aspects of the beginning teachers' reflections were identified. This study showed that a collaborative mentoring program focusing on inquiry-based science teaching encouraged the beginning teachers to reflect on their own perceptions and teaching practice in terms of inquiry-based science teaching, which led to changes in their teaching practice. This study also highlighted the importance of collaborative interactions between the mentors and the beginning teachers during the mentoring process.
Research in science education has been conducted with various goals for instruction. Four outcomes identified include: immediate and delayed recall, literal comprehension, science skills and processes, and conceptual understanding. The promise of developing important thinking skills exists for all students if science instruction is designed to teach students the products of science and the principled process of inquiry. Guided inquiry science seeks to develop conceptual understanding through the pursuit of meaningful questions using scientific problem solving to conduct investigations that are thoughtfully generated and evaluated. Using a social constructivist perspective, this study examines the learning experiences of four students, identified by their teachers as learning disabled or underachieving. Four case studies are presented of the students' participation in a guided inquiry investigation of the behavior of light. Measures of conceptual understanding included pre- and post-instruction assessments, interviews, journal writing, videotapes, and fieldnotes. All four students demonstrated improved conceptual understanding of light. Five patterns of relationships influenced the development of the students' thinking. First, differences in the culture of the two classrooms altered the learning environment, Second, the nature of teacher interaction with the target students affected conceptual understanding. Third, interactions with peers modified the learning experiences for the identified students. Fourth, the conceptual and procedural complexity of the tasks increased the tendency for the students to lose focus. Finally, the literacy requirements of the work were challenging for these students.
Koksal, Ela Ayse; Berberoglu, Giray
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of guided-inquiry approach in science classes over existing science and technology curriculum in developing content-based science achievement, science process skills, and attitude toward science of grade level 6 students in Turkey. Non-equivalent control group quasi-experimental design…
Miller, Bridget T.; Krockover, Gerald H.; Doughty, Teresa
Multiple illustrative case studies were used to investigate guided inquiry methods and the benefits of traditional science notebooks versus electronic science notebooks for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Results indicated students successfully acquired science content and increased motivation through science inquiry…
Pine, Jerome; Aschbacher, Pamela; Roth, Ellen; Jones, Melanie; McPhee, Cameron; Martin, Catherine; Phelps, Scott; Kyle, Tara; Foley, Brian
A large number of American elementary school students are now studying science using the hands-on inquiry curricula developed in the 1990s: Insights; Full Option Science System (FOSS); and Science and Technology for Children (STC). A goal of these programs, echoed in the "National Science Education Standards," is that children should gain…
Luera, Gail R.; Otto, Charlotte A.
The National Science Education Standards (National Research Council 1996, National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press) and various other national and state documents call for teachers who possess science content knowledge, employ an inquiry approach in teaching, and engage in reflective practices. This paper describes a rationale for choosing particular recommendations to implement and how we incorporated those as we revised our elementary science education program. An analysis of the impact of the reformed inquiry-based content courses revealed that students who take more than one reformed content course improve their science content knowledge and efficacy towards teaching science significantly more than students who take fewer courses.
Krell, Desirae E.; Dana, Nancy Fichtman
Despite the profound impact of action research coaches on teachers' experiences of the inquiry process, little research exists in the field regarding the coach's role. In this exploratory study, two groups of action research coaches--one novice and one experienced--share their experiences of coaching inquiry during the 2009/10 school year. Out of…
Bush, Drew; Sieber, Renee; Seiler, Gale; Chandler, Mark
A gap has existed between the tools and processes of scientists working on anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) and the technologies and curricula available to educators teaching the subject through student inquiry. Designing realistic scientific inquiry into AGCC poses a challenge because research on it relies on complex computer models, globally distributed data sets, and complex laboratory and data collection procedures. Here we examine efforts by the scientific community and educational researchers to design new curricula and technology that close this gap and impart robust AGCC and Earth Science understanding. We find technology-based teaching shows promise in promoting robust AGCC understandings if associated curricula address mitigating factors such as time constraints in incorporating technology and the need to support teachers implementing AGCC and Earth Science inquiry. We recommend the scientific community continue to collaborate with educational researchers to focus on developing those inquiry technologies and curricula that use realistic scientific processes from AGCC research and/or the methods for determining how human society should respond to global change.
Baker-Lawrence, Anika Rae
The implementation of scientific inquiry in the high school classroom has proven to be not only relevant and exploratory, but challenging and engaging as well. This style of curriculum design has been recognized as a primary means of achieving the goals and objectives set by the National Resource Council (NRC, 1996). While much research has shown that science inquiry helps students to gain understanding of content knowledge, little research has been conducted to assess gains in higher order thinking skills, specifically those related to data analysis (Anderson, 2002; Germann and Aram, 1996; Hofstein, Navon, Kipnis, and Mamlok-Naaman, 2005; Miner, Levy, and Century, 2009; Windschitl, Thompson, and Braaten, 2008; Zohar and Dori, 2003). Through a better understanding of the scientific inquiry process as well as insights into students' struggles with data analysis, we can better understand how to effectively implement strategies in the classroom that encourage the higher order thinking skill of data analysis. This mixed methods, multiple-case study investigated teacher practice in eight high school science inquiry units in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area and the data analyses that students produced in their accompanying work samples. The results of this study indicate that students struggle to produce proficient analysis and interpretations of data. The areas of student struggle were in the areas that required higher order thinking: analyzing results, drawing conclusions, and communicating results. Furthermore, this research discusses areas of data analysis instruction that may benefit from professional development opportunities.
Çalik, Muammer; Ebenezer, Jazlin; Özsevgeç, Tuncay; Küçük, Zeynel; Artun, Hüseyin
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of "Environmental Chemistry" elective course via Technology-Embedded Scientific Inquiry (TESI) model on senior science student teachers' (SSSTs) self-perceptions of fluency with innovative technologies (InT) and scientific inquiry abilities. The study was conducted with 117 SSSTs (68 females and 49 males—aged 21-23 years) enrolled in the "Environmental Chemistry" elective course in spring semester of 2011-2012 academic year in a Turkish University. Within a simple (causal) experimental design, Innovative Technology Fluency Survey and the SSSTs' environmental research papers were employed to collect data. The results indicate that the "Environmental Chemistry" elective course via the TESI model improved the SSSTs' self-perceptions of fluency with InT and the scientific inquiry abilities. In light of the results, it is recommended that an undergraduate course for improving the SSSTs' higher-order scientific inquiry abilities and preparing academically papers should be devised and added into the science teacher-training programmes.
Hilosky, Alexandra Borzillo
American students are not developing the science inquiry skills needed to solve complex 21st century problems, thus impacting the workforce. In 2009, American high school students ranked 21 out of 26 in the category of problem-solving according to the Program for International Student Assessment. Serious video games have powerful epistemic value and are beneficial with respect to enhancing inquiry, effective problem-solving. The purpose of this correlational, quantitative study was to test Gee's assumption regarding the cycle of thinking (routinization, automatization, and deroutinization) by determining whether players status was a significant predictor of science inquiry scores, controlling for age, gender, and major. The 156 non-random volunteers who participated in this study were enrolled in a 2-year college in the northeastern U.S. Multiple regression analyses revealed that major was the strongest overall (significant) predictor, b = -.84, t(149) = -3.70, p < .001, even though gamer status served as a significant predictor variable for Stage 1 only, b = -.48, t(149) = -2.37, p = .019. Participants who reported playing serious video games scored .48 points higher than non-players of serious video games regardless of age, gender, and major, which supports previous studies that have found significant differences in scientific inquiry abilities related to forming hypotheses and identifying problems based on serious video game play. Recommendations include using serious games as instructional tools and to assess student learning (formative and summative), especially among non-traditional learners.
Meyer, Nathan J.; Scott, Siri; Strauss, Andrea Lorek; Nippolt, Pamela L.; Oberhauser, Karen S.; Blair, Robert B.
Citizen science projects can serve as constructivist learning environments for programming focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for youth. Attributes of "rich environments for active learning" (REALs) provide a framework for design of Extension STEM learning environments. Guiding principles and design strategies…
Meyer, Xenia S.; Crawford, Barbara A.
This study investigated how student participation in an authentic scientific investigation may shape underrepresented students' views of science and support students in learning science. The research centered on the instructional approach used in a fifth-grade classroom to engage English language learning students from Latino backgrounds in a…
Miller, Roxanne Greitz
Middle school classrooms are a natural laboratory where the relationships between science, reading, and writing can be developed and strengthened to provide a foundation for students' learning and future career success. Teachers do not need to know "everything" about science and reading to raise student achievement. Rather, they need to know a few…
This book allows the reader to team teach with a science specialist to drive home key library and media curriculum goals. Eight detailed chapters provide background and complete lesson plans that cover both library and general science skills and benchmarks. Included are reproducible student worksheets, tools for assessment, and a suggested…
Mangrubang, Fred R
Science education traditionally has received insufficient attention. As a literature review shows, teacher preparation in science will be best served by improvements in pedagogy and in the content of required undergraduate science courses. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993, 1995) and the National Research Council (1993, 1995) have addressed this need in advocating a "science for all" that is highly significant for diverse learners. The No Child Left Behind Act emphasizes that reform of teacher preparation is part of an urgent national commitment to bring high-quality teacher candidates into the classroom. The Gallaudet University undergraduate teacher education program has developed an inquiry-based course that emphasizes integration of the sciences. Acquisition of the Full Option Science System, and its adaptation to and integration into the course, has resulted in specific curricular changes and positive results.
Eliot, Michael H.
Students with learning disabilities (SWLDs) need to attain academic rigor to graduate from high school and college, as well as achieve success in life. Constructivist theories suggest that guided inquiry may provide the impetus for their success, yet little research has been done to support this premise. This study was designed to fill that gap. This quasi-experimental study compared didactic and guided inquiry-based teaching of science concepts to secondary SWLDs in SDC science classes. The study examined 38 students in four classes at two diverse, urban high schools. Participants were taught two science concepts using both teaching methods and posttested after each using paper-and-pencil tests and performance tasks. Data were compared to determine increases in conceptual understanding by teaching method, order of teaching method, and exposure one or both teaching methods. A survey examined participants' perceived self-efficacy under each method. Also, qualitative comparison of the two test formats examined appropriate use with SWLDs. Results showed significantly higher scores after the guided inquiry method on concept of volume, suggesting that guided inquiry does improve conceptual understanding over didactic instruction in some cases. Didactic teaching followed by guided inquiry resulted in higher scores than the reverse order, indicating that SWLDs may require direct instruction in basic facts and procedures related to a topic prior to engaging in guided inquiry. Also application of both teaching methods resulted in significantly higher scores than a single method on the concept of density, suggesting that SWLDs may require more in depth instruction found using both methods. No differences in perceived self-efficacy were shown. Qualitative analysis both assessments and participants' behaviors during testing support the use of performance tasks over paper-and-pencil tests with SWLDs. Implications for education include the use of guided inquiry to increase SWLDs
Cavagnetto, Andy Roy
This study was conducted to determine the effects of two different student-centered approaches to setting the question for inquiry. The first approach (whole class) consisted of students setting a single question for inquiry after which students worked in small groups during an investigation phase of the activity with all groups exploring the same question. The second approach (small group) consisted of each group of students setting a question resulting in numerous questions being explored per class. A mixed method quasi-experimental design was utilized. Two grade five teachers from a small rural school district in the Midwestern United States participated, each teaching two sections of science (approximately 25 students per section). Results indicate three major findings. Instructional approach (whole class vs. small group) did not effect student achievement in science or language arts. Observational data indicated the actions and skills teachers utilized to implement the approaches were similar. Specifically, the pedagogical skills of dialogical interaction (which was found to be influenced by teacher level of control of learning and teacher content knowledge) and effective rather than efficient use of time were identified as key factors in teachers' progression toward a student-centered, teacher-managed instructional approach. Unit exams along with qualitative and quantitative teacher observation data indicated that these factors do have an impact on student achievement. Specifically increased dialogical interaction in the forms of greater student voice, and increased cognitive demands placed on students by embedding and emphasizing science argument within the student inquiry corresponded to positive gains in student achievement. Additionally, teacher's perception of student abilities was also found to influence professional growth. Finally, allowing students to set the questions for inquiry and design the experiments impact the classroom environment as teacher
Fazio, Xavier; Melville, Wayne; Bartley, Anthony
This article disseminates findings from a multi-year study regarding secondary preservice science teachers’ perceptions toward inquiry-based science teaching, and the extent these perceptions are augmented by their practicum. While findings indicated that preservice teachers did improve their understanding and capability of using scientific inquiry due to their methods course, the role of practicum in supporting their newly developed perceptions was problematic. Issues ranging from associate teacher subjugation, availability of resources, time constraints, and the need to address curriculum standards were the most commonly cited reasons for preservice teachers’ difficulty in creating an inquiry-based environment during their practicum. Implications are presented highlighting the importance of practicum experiences as a key determinant of pre-service science teachers’ emerging inquiry-based science views and practices.
In this study, the participants conceptualized and implemented an action research project that focused on the infusion of inquiry principles into a neglected science curriculum. Specific objectives were to find (a) What factors challenge and support the evolution of an action research community of practice? (b) How are teachers’ beliefs about science teaching and learning transformed? and (c) How does teachers’ knowledge of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and student learning change as a result of learning within a community of practice? In this instrumental case study (Stake 2000, In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 435-454). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage), a range of data collection sources and methods were adopted. Outcomes focus on how the design principles for cultivating a community of practice emerged in the action research group, as well as the types of teacher learning that occurred by engaging in action research.
Rooks, Deborah L.
The purpose of this study was to examine instructional experiences of students with visual impairment in an guided inquiry-based science classroom. Drawing from social constructive perspectives about teaching and learning, I focused on the initial attempts of students to participate fully in an inquiry-based astronomy unit. The astronomy unit incorporated features of project-based science inquiry and aligned with national standards. This study described the opportunities provided to and challenges faced by students with visual impairment as they participated in the guided inquiry-based learning environment. Additionally, discursive practices of students including student-generated questions, student discussions, and students' science notebook writing were examined. Also, students' alternative conceptions about scientific phenomena and changes in students' thinking during the course of instruction, if any, were described. Methods of data collection included classroom observations, video records, pre- and post-curriculum assessments, attitudes toward science measurement, student interviews, and student artifacts (i.e., science notebook entries, student-constructed models). Findings showed that student learning was enhanced when the instructor-researcher guided students in accomplishing inquiry tasks and in making sense of their inquiry experiences. Additionally, the use of appropriate reflective prompts assisted students with visual impairment to fully participate in the writing tasks of the inquiry-based learning environment. Results suggested that the quantity and quality of student-generated questions increased with extended inquiry instruction. Also, students used questions to not only establish verbal communication, but to elaborate on their own thinking and expand or explain the thinking of others. Findings suggested also that students with visual impairment have similar alternative frameworks about scientific phenomena (i.e., causes of lunar phases, reason for
Nicolaides, Aliki; McCallum, David C.
This article discusses the theory and practices associated with a methodology for leadership capacity development that utilizes Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry to support adults in understanding the connections between transformative learning and adaptive leadership. Discussion is focused on transformative learning, ways of knowing, or…
Through an action research approach, this dissertation focuses on the central role of interpersonal warmth in the teacher and student relationship. The heart of its inquiry is based on data gathered by a set of teachers working collaboratively as co-researchers in their own classrooms. These individuals inquired into the potential of the teacher…
Science in Action is an education outreach program for pre-collegiate students. It is based on the concept that, in order to interest students in science, they must see science and scientists at work. The program encompasses the full range of scientific disciplines -- the core sciences, engineering and mathematics. A unique aspect of the program is the involvement and support of scientists and engineers representing local professional societies, industries, businesses, and academic institutions. The goal of the presentations is to be highly interactive. The students have some hands on'' experiences and leave with a good feeling about science and engineering. To present a broad spectrum of role models, scientists and engineers were involved as presenters, guides, and exhibitors.
Oliveira, Alandeom W.
This study examined the effectiveness of introducing elementary teachers to the scholarly literature on personal pronouns and hedges in classroom discourse, a professional development strategy adopted during a summer institute to enhance teachers’ social understanding (i.e., their understanding of the social functions of language in science discussions). Teachers became aware of how hedges can be employed to remain neutral toward students’ oral contributions to classroom discussions, invite students to share their opinions and articulate their own ideas, and motivate students to inquire. Teachers recognized that the combined use of I and you can render their feedback authoritative, you can shift the focus from the investigation to students’ competence, and we can lead to authority loss. It is argued that explicitness, reflectivity, and contextualization are essential features of professional development programs aimed at improving teachers’ understandings of the social dimension of inquiry-based science classrooms and preparing teachers to engage in inquiry-based teacher-student interactions.
Dodds, Heather E.
Online education has grown into a part of the educational market answering the demand for learning at the learner's choice of time and place. Inquiry skills such as observing, questioning, collecting data, and devising fair experiments are an essential element of 21st-century online science coursework. Virtual immersive worlds such as Second Life are being used as new frontiers in science education. There have been few studies looking specifically at science education in virtual worlds that foster inquiry skills. This quantitative quasi-experimental nonrandomized control group pretest and posttest study explored what affect a virtual world experience had on inquiry skills as measured by the TIPS (Test of Integrated Process Skills) and TIPS II (Integrated Process Skills Test II) instruments. Participants between the ages of 18 and 65 were recruited from educator mailing lists and Second Life discussion boards and then sorted into the experimental group, which received instructions to utilize several displays in Mendelian genetics at the Genome Island location within Second Life, or the control group, which received text-based PDF documents of the same genetics course content. All participants, in the form of avatars, were experienced Second Life residents to reduce any novelty effect. This study found a greater increase in inquiry skills in the experimental group interacting using a virtual world to learn science content (0.90 points) than a control group that is presented only with online text-based content (0.87 points). Using a mixed between-within ANOVA (analysis of variance), with an alpha level of 0.05, there was no significant interaction between the control or experimental groups and inquiry skills, F (1, 58) = .783, p = .380, partial eta squared = .013, at the specified .05 alpha level suggesting no significant difference as a result of the virtual world exercise. However, there is not enough evidence to state that there was no effect because there was a
Gray, Ron E.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine scientific arguments constructed by secondary science teachers during instruction. The analysis focused on how arguments constructed by teachers differed based on the mode of inquiry underlying the topic. Specifically, how did the structure and content of arguments differ between experimentally and historically based topics? In addition, what factors mediate these differences? Four highly experienced high school science teachers were observed daily during instructional units for both experimental and historical science topics. Data sources include classroom observations, field notes, reflective memos, classroom artifacts, a nature of science survey, and teacher interviews. The arguments were analyzed for structure and content using Toulmin's argumentation pattern and Walton's schemes for presumptive reasoning revealing specific patterns of use between the two modes of inquiry. Interview data was analyzed to determine possible factors mediating these patterns. The results of this study reveal that highly experienced teachers present arguments to their students that, while simple in structure, reveal authentic images of science based on experimental and historical modes of inquiry. Structural analysis of the data revealed a common trend toward a greater amount of scientific data used to evidence knowledge claims in the historical science units. The presumptive reasoning analysis revealed that, while some presumptive reasoning schemes remained stable across the two units (e.g. 'causal inferences' and 'sign' schemes), others revealed different patterns of use including the 'analogy', 'evidence to hypothesis', 'example', and 'expert opinion' schemes. Finally, examination of the interview and survey data revealed five specific factors mediating the arguments constructed by the teachers: view of the nature of science, nature of the topic, teacher personal factors, view of students, and pedagogical decisions. These
Sun, Daner; Looi, Chee-Kit
The paper traces a research process in the design and development of a science learning environment called WiMVT (web-based inquirer with modeling and visualization technology). The WiMVT system is designed to help secondary school students build a sophisticated understanding of scientific conceptions, and the science inquiry process, as well as develop critical learning skills through model-based collaborative inquiry approach. It is intended to support collaborative inquiry, real-time social interaction, progressive modeling, and to provide multiple sources of scaffolding for students. We first discuss the theoretical underpinnings for synthesizing the WiMVT design framework, introduce the components and features of the system, and describe the proposed work flow of WiMVT instruction. We also elucidate our research approach that supports the development of the system. Finally, the findings of a pilot study are briefly presented to demonstrate of the potential for learning efficacy of the WiMVT implementation in science learning. Implications are drawn on how to improve the existing system, refine teaching strategies and provide feedback to researchers, designers and teachers. This pilot study informs designers like us on how to narrow the gap between the learning environment's intended design and its actual usage in the classroom.
The purpose of this study is to characterize the learning practices demonstrated by seventh graders when they used various scientific inscriptions in an inquiry-based learning environment. Inscriptions are types of transformations, such as graphs, diagrams, data tables, symbols, maps, and models, that materialize or visualize an entity into another format or mode. As suggested by science studies, scientific knowledge and the reality of science are constructed through manipulating a variety of inscriptions. However, little is known about how middle school students make use of inscriptions over time and what resources or features of the learning environment support students in doing so. Drawing on a naturalistic approach, this classroom-based study aims to characterize students' inscriptional practices, trace their learning trajectories, examine potential use of various scientific inscriptions, and analyze the learning supports and resources provided by the teachers and the learning environment. This eight-month study is conducted in two inquiry-based science classes with participation of two teachers and 27 seventh graders. Two student dyads from each class were observed intensively. Multiple sources of data were collected, including fieldnotes, classroom video recordings, process video recordings, computer-based models, webpages, science reports, notebooks, and transcripts from interviews with students and teachers. Several analytical steps were taken to analyze and synthesize these data. Expanding upon early research on students' learning of inscriptions, this study shows that seventh graders could demonstrate competent, purposeful inscriptional practices when they were scaffolded by the teachers and the curriculum in a learning environment where the inscriptional activities were sequenced, iterated, and embedded in scientific inquiry. Additionally, using inscriptions in science classrooms provided students with opportunities to engage in thoughtful discussions
Reviews research carried out under the Fraser River Action Plan in the field of aquatic science, beginning with research carried out on Fraser River headwater lakes and the contaminants found in those lakes and their fish. Subsequent sections cover research on sediment and contaminant transport, benthic communities, fish species distribution, contaminants in fish, pollution sources (from urban runoff, agriculture, and forestry), pollution in the Fraser estuary, and environmental indicators.
Ozgelen, Sinan; Yilmaz-Tuzun, Ozgul; Hanuscin, Deborah L.
The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of the inquiry-based and explicit-reflective laboratory instruction on preservice science teachers' (PSTs) conceptions of the nature of science (NOS) aspects. This study was carried out during the Laboratory Application in Science II course. All 52 preservice elementary science teachers…
National Science Resources Center, 2010
In 1985, the leaders of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies established the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) to address the critical problem identified by the "A Nation at Risk" report. Through its Curriculum Development Center and in partnership with its publisher, Carolina Biological Supply Company, the NSRC developed…
Tamir, Pinchas; Lunetta, Vincent N.
Reviews and compares results of content analysis studies of selected high school science laboratory handbooks using the Laboratory Structure and Task Analysis Inventory (LAI). Findings from two biology, two chemistry, and two physics handbooks indicate highly structured investigations where students perform manipulative and observational…
Song, Yanjie; Wong, Lung-Hsiang; Looi, Chee-Kit
In this paper, we present a mobile technology-assisted seamless learning process design where students were facilitated to develop their personalized and diversified understanding in a primary school's science topic of the life cycles of various living things. A goal-based approach to experiential learning model was adopted as the pedagogical…
McDonald, Scott; Songer, Nancy Butler
Translating written curricular materials into rich, complex, learning environments is an undertheorized area in science education. This study examines two critical cases of teachers enacting a technology-rich curriculum focused on the development of complex reasoning around biodiversity for fifth graders. Two elements emerged that significantly…
Gyllenpalm, Jakob; Wickman, Per-Olof
This article examines the use and role of the term "experiment" in science teacher education as described by teacher students. Data were collected through focus group interviews conducted at seven occasions with 32 students from six well-known Swedish universities. The theoretical framework is a sociocultural and pragmatist perspective on language…
Bowen, Gervase Michael; Roth, Wolff-Michael
The interpretation of data and construction and interpretation of graphs are central practices in science which, according to recent reform documents, science and mathematics teachers are expected to foster in their classrooms. However, are (preservice) science teachers prepared to teach inquiry with the purpose of transforming and analyzing data,…
Chue, Shien; Lee, Yew-Jin
When students collaboratively design and build artifacts that require relevant understanding and application of science, many aspects of scientific literacy are developed. Design-based inquiry (DBI) is one such pedagogy that can serve these desired goals of science education well. Focusing on a Projectile Science curriculum previously found to be…
Jackson, Julie Kay Cropper
This study examined how career scientists became interested in science. Eight practicing scientists were asked a focus question, "What sparked your interest in science?" Their responses recorded during personal interviews and reported in correspondence frame this qualitative study. Analysis of the data revealed a variety of influences. The influences were coded, arranged into lists, and grouped by theme. A total of 18 themes emerged from the data. Five of the emerging themes were common across all of the participants. They were the influence of a family member, the influence of a teacher, being naturally curious, being interested in science, and reading books, magazines, and/or encyclopedias. Five themes were common among 5 to 7 participants. These themes included visiting museums, having broad exposure, enjoyment of mathematics, enjoying being outside, and freedom to play and explore. Eight themes were common among 2 to 4 of the participants. They were financial incentive, influence of religion, participation in science fairs, influence of the manned space program, having a scientist in the family, having the opportunity to teach others, not seeing self as a scientist, and first generation college graduate. The emerging themes were compared and contrasted with historical and contemporary literature. Vocational psychology's leading career choice and development literature was also aligned with the emerging themes. Data from this study supports tenets of Trait and Factor Theory, Developmental Theory, and Social Learning Theory. Reported data also supports the proposed movement toward a unified theory of career choice and development. A combination of personality traits, developmental stages, self-efficacy, and learning experiences influenced the vocational decisions of the scientists who participated in this study. The study concludes with suggestions for sparking and sustaining interest in science that people responsible for preparing future scientists may find
Soares, Rosa; Teixeira, Daniel; Roxo, Áurea; Ruas, Fátima
Problem Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching methodology based on the Inquiry Teaching approach, which consists in finding a solution to a problem that requires the use of higher-level cognitive skills. It's best carried out in small groups. The scenario or problem must lead the student to ask questions and to find solutions through research. This methodology is a research-oriented approach, because it starts with questions (asked by the students after being introduced to the problem), it encourages the search for solutions, it develops scientific reasoning, and it helps students to learn about key aspects of scientific research, such as gathering data, finding evidence, looking for solutions, discussing and presenting findings. In PBL the teacher has the role of facilitator. In the study of the Solar System, the study of the Moon's craters started with the observation of photos, which led the students to ask questions like "What determines the size and shape of the craters?". To answer this question the students hypothesized about the size, speed and distance travelled of the object that hit the Moon. The students then planned and carried out an experimental activity to validate their hypotheses, using balls of different sizes and materials. The diameter and depth of the craters were estimated using Salsa J. With the data obtained in this experiment, the students did a Gowin's V diagram. In order to determine the relation between the characteristics of the celestial bodies and the craters formed, both on the Moon and on the Earth, we studied the Earth's craters. We used Impact Calculator, a program that estimates the effects of an impact on the Earth, using several variables, such as the size and density of the meteorite, and the speed and angle at which it impacts the Earth's surface. Another problem started with the film Visions of the Cosmos. It raised questions such as "Is there a relation between the Earth's past and the origin of the Solar System?" "How are
Brockmeyer, Mark Alan
While calls for more inquiry-based science instruction are frequent within reform initiatives in science education, little research exists related to the implementation of inquiry among new teachers. Changes in beliefs and instructional practices of induction science teachers, resulting from participation in an inservice workshop program that promoted extended inquiry-based instruction, were studied. A series of open-ended participant interviews, classroom observations, and a collection of written artifacts were utilized in this qualitative research study. The participants included six secondary science teachers who were in their first, second, or third year of teaching. The data were analyzed using a constant comparative method of data analysis, culminating in individual participant profiles. The outcomes of this study provide new insights into the relationship between beliefs and practices of induction science teachers and the benefits of inservice participation. Major findings include: (1) beliefs about science teaching and learning for induction science teachers tended to be more student-centered while practices were generally more teacher-centered; (2) major changes in the beliefs about science teaching and learning were not apparent over the course of the study year for this group of induction science teachers; (3) workshop participation resulted in the implementation of at least one extended inquiry-based learning experience in five of the six teachers classrooms; (4) the inservice program had an impact on the teaching practices of at least half of the induction participants, as evidenced by their continued implementation of initial and intermediate aspects of inquiry in their classroom practices; (5) a clear level of cognitive conflict, between practices and beliefs, was apparent in four of the six participants; (6) modeling of extended inquiry lessons during the summer workshop was an extremely beneficial aspect of the inservice program for all
Tugel, Joyce; Porter, Ingrid
Curriculum top study (CTS) action research is a specific type of inquiry that combines curriculum topic study (Keeley 2005) with an examination of students' thinking using formative assessment probes (Keeley, Eberle, and Farrin 2005; Keeley, Eberle, and Tugel 2007; Keeley, Eberle, and Dorsey 2008; Keeley and Tugel 2009) and a variety of…
Ramalis, T. R.; Liliasari; Herdiwidjaya, D.
The purpose this case study was to describe characteristic features learning activities in the domain of earth and space science. Context of this study is earth and space learning activities on three groups of student teachers prospective, respectively on the subject of the shape and size of Earth, land and sea breeze, and moon's orbit. The analysis is conducted qualitatively from activity data and analyze students doing project work, student worksheets, group project report documents, note and audio recordings of discussion. Research findings identified the type of abduction: theoretical models abduction, factual abduction, and law abduction during the learning process. Implications for science inquiry learning as well as relevant research were suggested.
Cartwright, T. J.; Hogsett, M.
Science education must be relevant and inspiring to keep students engaged and receptive to learning. Reports suggest that science education reform can be advanced by involving students in active research (NSF 1996). Through a 2-year Geoscience Education award from the National Science Foundation, a program called IDGE (Integrated Design for Geoscience Education) has targeted low-income, under-represented, and minority high school students in rural Appalachia in inquiry-based projects, international collaboration, and an international environmental expedition incorporating the GLOBE program protocols. This program targeted Upward Bound students at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The Upward Bound is a federally-supported program targeting low-income, under-represented, and minority students for inclusion in a summer academic- enrichment program. IDGE builds on the mission of Upward Bound by encouraging underprivileged students to investigate science and scientific careers. This outreach has proven to be successful in enhancing positive attitudes and understanding about science and increasing the number of students considering science careers. IDGE has found that students must be challenged to observe the world around them and to consider how their decisions affect the future of our planet, thus making geoscience relevant and interesting to the students. By making the geoscience course inquiry-based and incorporating field research that is relevant to local environmental issues, it becomes possible for students to bridge the gap between science in theory and science in practice while remaining engaged. Participants were able to broaden environmental connections through an ecological expedition experience to Costa Rica, serving as an opportunity to broaden the vision of students as members of an international community of learners and scientists through their experiences with a diverse natural environment. This trip, in coordination with the inclusion
Turkan, Sultan; Liu, Ou Lydia
The performance of English language learners (ELLs) has been a concern given the rapidly changing demographics in US K-12 education. This study aimed to examine whether students' English language status has an impact on their inquiry science performance. Differential item functioning (DIF) analysis was conducted with regard to ELL status on an inquiry-based science assessment, using a multifaceted Rasch DIF model. A total of 1,396 seventh- and eighth-grade students took the science test, including 313 ELL students. The results showed that, overall, non-ELLs significantly outperformed ELLs. Of the four items that showed DIF, three favored non-ELLs while one favored ELLs. The item that favored ELLs provided a graphic representation of a science concept within a family context. There is some evidence that constructed-response items may help ELLs articulate scientific reasoning using their own words. Assessment developers and teachers should pay attention to the possible interaction between linguistic challenges and science content when designing assessment for and providing instruction to ELLs.
McDonald, Scott Powell
New understandings about how people learn and constructivist pedagogy pose challenges for teachers. Science teachers face an additional challenge of developing inquiry-based pedagogy to foster complex reasoning skills. Theory provides only fuzzy guidance as to how constructivist or inquiry pedagogy can be accomplished in a wide variety of contexts and local constraints. This study contributes to the understanding of the development of constructivist, inquiry-based pedagogy by addressing the question: How do teachers interpret and enact a technology-rich, inquiry fostering science curricula for fifth grade students' biodiversity learning? This research is a case study of two teachers chosen as critical contrasting cases and represent differences across multiple criteria including: urban I suburban, teaching philosophy, and content preparation. The two fifth grade teachers each enacted BioKIDS: Kids' Inquiry in Diverse Species, an eight week curriculum focused on biodiversity. BioKIDS incorporates multiple learning technologies to support student learning including handheld computer software designed to help students collect field data, and a web-based resource for data on local animal species. The results of this study indicate there are tensions teachers must struggle with when setting goals during enactment of inquiry science curricula. They must find a balance between an emphasis on authentic learning and authentic science, and between natural history and natural science. Authentic learning focuses on students' interests and lives; Authentic science focuses on students working with the tools and processes of science. Natural history focuses on the foundational skills in science of observation and classification. Natural science focuses on analytical science drawing on data to develop claims about the world. These two key tensions in teachers' goal setting were critical in defining and understanding differences in how teachers interpreted a curriculum to meet
Achievement data from the 3rd International Mathematics and Sciences Study and Program for International Student Assessment in science have indicated that Black students from economically disadvantaged families underachieve at alarming rates in comparison to White and economically advantaged peer groups. The study site was a predominately Black, urban school district experiencing underachievement. The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the relationship between students' use of inquiry-based laboratory investigations and their performance on the Biology End of Course Test, as well as to examine the relationship while partialling out the effects of student gender. Constructivist theory formed the theoretical foundation of the study. Students' perceived levels of experience with inquiry-based laboratory investigations were measured using the Laboratory Program Variable Inventory (LPVI) survey. LPVI scores of 256 students were correlated with test scores and were examined by student gender. The Pearson correlation coefficient revealed a small direct correlation between students' experience in inquiry-based laboratory investigation classes and standardized test scores on the Biology EOCT. A partial correlational analysis indicated that the correlation remained after controlling for gender. This study may prompt a change from teacher-centered to student-centered pedagogy at the local site in order to increase academic achievement for all students. The results of this study may also influence administrators and policy makers to initiate local, state, or nationwide curricular development. A change in curriculum may promote social change as students become more competent, and more able, to succeed in life beyond secondary school.
O'Neill, Michael A; McGuinty, Dylan; Teskey, Bryan
Based on an extensive sample of the literature, this critical review dissects the principal themes that have animated the Canadian political science profession on the topic of medicare. The review considers the coincidence of economic eras and how these are reflected in the methodological approaches to the study of medicare. As is to be expected, most of the scholarly activity coincides with the economic era marked by fiscal restraint and decreases in social investments (1993-2003). At the same time, the review notes the prevalence of institutionalism as an approach to the topic and the scholarly community's near-consensus on medicare as a defining characteristic of the country and its people.
James, Linda E.
The purpose of this study was to investigate and analyze elementary teachers' understandings of inquiry science instruction and how those understandings change through support of a professional development workshop; and how that change affects classroom teaching. Twelve teachers from Bertie and Martin County School Districts were identified as the sample for this study by voluntary registration. Five of the twelve teachers agreed to participate in an "in depth" study, which included three classroom observations and follow-up interviews. The design of this study was a combination of case study and survey research. This study included a professional development workshop for twelve teachers from Bertie and Martin County School Districts in eastern North Carolina during the summer of 2001. The professional development workshop, supported by an Eisenhower Grant, provided stipends, materials, and supplies for the teachers. The workshop was held in the identified districts for ten days. Twelve teachers from Bertie and Martin Districts were identified as the sample for this study by voluntary registration. Five of the twelve teachers agreed to participate in classroom observations and interviews. The State Department of Public Instruction and discussions were used as determinations of needs of these districts in the 1999--2000 ABCs of Public Education Report Vol. 1 with the LEA for the Northeast Region. A Self-Report about Teaching (CRDG, 1990), developed by the Curriculum Research & Development Group, University of Hawaii (CRDG) based on guidelines of the National Research Council (NRC), was given to the participating teachers before and after their participation in the workshop. The questionnaire is based on a modified Likert-type rating scale. It yields a total score, which indicates the teacher's perception of his/her inquiry science instruction in the classroom. The independent variable for this part of this study was participation in the inquiry science workshop. The
Ayse Koksal, Ela; Berberoglu, Giray
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of guided-inquiry approach in science classes over existing science and technology curriculum in developing content-based science achievement, science process skills, and attitude toward science of grade level 6 students in Turkey. Non-equivalent control group quasi-experimental design was used to investigate the treatment effect. There were 162 students in the experimental group and 142 students in the control group. Both the experimental and control group students took the Achievement Test in Reproduction, Development, and Growth in Living Things (RDGLT), Science Process Skills Test, and Attitudes Toward Science Questionnaire, as pre-test and post-test. Repeated analysis of variance design was used in analyzing the data. Both the experimental and control group students were taught in RDGLT units for 22 class hours. The results indicated the positive effect of guided-inquiry approach on the Turkish students' cognitive as well as affective characteristics. The guided inquiry enhanced the experimental group students' understandings of the science concepts as well as the inquiry skills more than the control group students. Similarly, the experimental group students improved their attitudes toward science more than the control group students as a result of treatment. The guided inquiry seems a transition between traditional teaching method and student-centred activities in the Turkish schools.
O'Neill, Michael A.; McGuinty, Dylan; Teskey, Bryan
Based on an extensive sample of the literature, this critical review dissects the principal themes that have animated the Canadian political science profession on the topic of medicare. The review considers the coincidence of economic eras and how these are reflected in the methodological approaches to the study of medicare. As is to be expected, most of the scholarly activity coincides with the economic era marked by fiscal restraint and decreases in social investments (1993–2003). At the same time, the review notes the prevalence of institutionalism as an approach to the topic and the scholarly community's near-consensus on medicare as a defining characteristic of the country and its people. PMID:22548098
Goodnough, Karen Catherine
Since the publication of Frames of Mind: The Theory in Practice, multiple intelligences, theory (Gardner, 1983) has been used by practitioners in a variety of ways to make teaching and learning more meaningful. However, little attention has been focused on exploring the potential of the theory for science teaching and learning. Consequently, this research study was designed to: (1) explore Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (1983) and its merit for making science teaching and learning more meaningful; (2) provide a forum for teachers to engage in critical self-reflection about their theory and practice in science education; (3) study the process of action research in the context of science education; and (4) describe the effectiveness of collaborative action research as a framework for teacher development and curriculum development. The study reports on the experiences of four teachers (two elementary teachers, one junior high teacher, and one high school teacher) and myself, a university researcher-facilitator, as we participated in a collaborative action research project. The action research group held weekly meetings over a five-month period (January--May, 1999). The inquiry was a qualitative case study (Stake, 1994) that aimed to understand the perspectives of those directly involved. This was achieved by using multiple methods to collect data: audiotaped action research meetings, fieldnotes, semi-structured interviews, journal writing, and concept mapping. All data were analysed on an ongoing basis. Many positive outcomes resulted from the study in areas such as curriculum development, teacher development, and student learning in science. Through the process of action research, research participants became more reflective about their practice and thus, enhanced their pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1987) in science. Students became more engaged in learning science, gained a greater understanding of how they learn, and experienced a
Green, Carie; Medina-Jerez, William
In recent years, citizen science projects have emerged as a means to involve students in scientific inquiry, particularly in the fields of ecology and environmental science. A citizen scientist is "a volunteer who collects and/or processes data as part of a scientific inquiry" (Silverton 2009, p. 467). Participation in citizen science fosters an…
Pettit, E. C.; Koppes, M. N.
We developed a wilderness science education program for high school girls. The program offers opportunities for students to explore and learn about mountain glaciers and the alpine landscape through scientific field studies with geologists and glaciologists. Our purpose is to give students a feeling for the natural processes that create the alpine world and provide an environment that fosters the critical thinking necessary to all scientific inquiry. The program is currently being offered through the North Cascades Institute, a non-profit organization offering outdoor education programs for the general public. We lead eight girls for a weeklong expedition to the remote USGS South Cascade Glacier Research Station in Washington's North Cascades. For four days, we explore the glacier and the nearby alpine valleys. We encourage the girls to observe and think like scientists through making observations and inferences. They develop their own experiments to test ideas about glacier dynamics and geomorphology. In addition to scientific exploration, we engage the students in discussions about the philosophy of science and its role in our everyday lives. Our program exemplifies the success of hands-on, inquiry-based teaching in small groups for science education in the outdoors. The wilderness setting and single gender field team inspires young women's interest in science and provides a challenging environment that increases their physical and intellectual self-confidence.
McMillan, Barbara Alexander
Inquiry in school science, as conceived by the authors of the Common Framework of Science Learning Outcomes K--12, is dependent upon four areas of skills. These are the skills of initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communication and teamwork that map onto what Hodson calls the five phases of scientific inquiry in school science: initiation, design and planning, performance, interpretation, and reporting and communicating. This study looked at initiation in a multiage (Grades 1--3) classroom, and the curriculum, design tools, and inquiry acts believed to be necessary precursors of design and planning phases whether the inquiry in which young children engage is archival or laboratory investigation. The curriculum was designed to build upon children's everyday biological knowledge and through a series of carefully organized lessons to help them to begin to build scientifically valid conceptual models in the area of animal life cycles. The lessons began with what is called benchmark-invention after the historical work of Robert Karplus and the contemporary work of Earl Hunt and Jim Minstrell. The introduction of a biological concept was followed by a series of exploration activities in which children were encouraged to apply the concept invented in the benchmark lesson. Enlargement followed. This was the instructional phase in which children were helped to establish scientifically valid relationships between the invented concept and other biological concepts. The pre-instruction and post-instruction interview data suggest that the enacted curriculum and sequence in which the biological knowledge was presented helped the nineteen children in the study to recognize the connections and regularities within the life cycles of the major groupings of animals, and to begin to build scientific biological conceptual models. It is, however, argued that everyday biology, in the form of the person analogy, acts as an obstacle to
Busch, Phyllis S.
Contained are instructional materials developed by the Science Project Related to Upgrading Conservation Education. The lesson plans given are intended to demonstrate the "indoor-outdoor-indoor" approach to teaching science conservation, with concentration on methods of inquiry and emphasis on processes of science. Four subject areas are treated:…
Laipply, Richelle Susan
It is in the introductory college science class where future teachers of science and future scientists are trained. Research has shown that self-efficacy and attitudes toward science are linked to future enrollment in science courses, selection of a college major, and even to a science career. It is important to examine the effects of these and other factors which impact the undergraduate science experience so as to decrease the attrition from the sciences and to evaluate science teaching methodologies. The purpose of this case study was to examine the effect of an inquiry-based introductory biology laboratory on students' biology self-efficacy and attitudes toward science at an urban public university. Data were gathered from one laboratory section during a fifteen-week semester through the use of participant observations, interviews, and three administrations of the Biology Self-Efficacy Scale and the Test of Science-Related Attitudes . Results showed that the inquiry experience had a positive effect on students' attitudes toward science and increased their biology self-efficacy. Moreover, peer group collaborations and student interactions with the teaching assistant were found to facilitate the inquiry process and the development of positive attitudes and self-efficacy. The findings of this study have implications for the enhancement of the undergraduate experience in college science laboratories and are significant for all college science educators with regard to ways in which to structure laboratory instruction.
Lyons, Daniel J.
This study explored the impact of a novel inquiry-based astronomy laboratory curriculum designed using the Backwards Faded Scaffolding inquiry teaching framework on non-science majoring undergraduate students' views of the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). The study focused on two aspects of NOSI: The Distinction between Data and Evidence (DvE), and The Multiple Methods of Science (MMS). Participants were 220 predominately non-science majoring undergraduate students at a small, doctoral granting, research-extensive university in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The student participants were enrolled in an introductory astronomy survey course with an associated laboratory section and were selected in two samples over consecutive fall and spring semesters. The participants also included four of the graduate student instructors who taught the laboratory courses using the intervention curriculum. In the first stage, student participant views of NOSI were measured using the VOSI-4 research instrument before and after the intervention curriculum was administered. The responses were quantified, and the distributions of pre and posttest scores of both samples were separately analyzed to determine if there was a significant improvement in understanding of either of the two aspects of NOSI. The results from both samples were compared to evaluate the consistency of the results. In the second stage, the quantitative results were used to strategically design a qualitative investigation, in which the four lab instructors were interviewed about their observations of how the student participants interacted with the intervention curriculum as compared to traditional lab activities, as well as their suggestions as to how the curriculum may or may not have contributed to the results of the first stage. These interviews were summarized and analyzed for common themes as to how the intervention curriculum influenced the students' understandings of the two aspect of
Cottingham, Susan M.
Frequently, students learn in science classes taught like traditional reading courses in which reading texts and answering questions is the main activity. The problem at one southern middle school is that students are not developing an understanding of science concepts and are doing poorly on standardized testing. Students are seldom given the opportunity model scientific inquiry methods that promote experiential learning in the classroom. The purpose of this project was to create a curriculum for inquiry science (IS) instruction at the seventh-grade level to increase student understanding of science concepts after conducting an initial needs assessment to guide deploying the intervention. Research guiding the IS movement at the national level suggests that many teachers use only the textbook and students do not apply what they have learned. Factors affecting this problem include a lack of integrated curricula for IS learning and teacher understanding and confidence in IS skills. A constructivist view of student learning served as the conceptual framework. The needs analysis for the project questioned if teachers were willing to adopt the IS method and prepared to conduct it through a quantitative survey research design. Results indicated that all teachers supported the IS approach, however it was infrequently used in instruction and only two of five teachers were somewhat comfortable with their IS skills. The local IS project draws from empirically tested elements to develop an integrated IS curricula aligned to the state science criterion. The curricula will be supported through a concurrently deployed professional learning community to support teacher professional development and confidence. This project can positively impact social change by increasing science related academic performance, and ultimately, interest in careers in science among middle school students.
Jiang, Feng; McComas, William F.
Gauging the effectiveness of specific teaching strategies remains a major topic of interest in science education. Inquiry teaching among others has been supported by extensive research and recommended by the National Science Education Standards. However, most of the empirical evidence in support was collected in research settings rather than in…
Oh, Phil Seok
The purpose of this study was to find how the teacher could help students formulate scientific hypotheses. Data came from two microteaching episodes in which two groups of pre-service secondary science teachers taught high school students as they were engaged in abductive inquiry activities of earth science. Multiple data sources including video…
Miller, Bridget; Doughty, Teresa; Krockover, Gerald
This study investigated the use of guided science inquiry methods with self-monitoring checklists to support problem-solving for students and increased autonomy during science instruction for students with moderate intellectual disability. Three students with moderate intellectual disability were supported in not only accessing the general…
Van Zee, Emily H.; Roberts, Deborah
Reports on a study designed to document and interpret ways in which prospective teachers engage in pedagogical inquiries and use their findings as a basis for learning to teach courses on methods of teaching science in elementary schools. Suggests that these prospective elementary school teachers had prior knowledge of science learning and…
Espinoza, Fernando; Quarless, Duncan
Science instruction can be designed to be laboratory-data driven. We report on an investigation of the use of thematic inquiry-based tasks with active incorporation of mathematics, science, and microcomputer-based laboratory technology in standards-correlated activities that enhanced learning experiences. Activities involved students in two major…
Nam, Jeonghee; Seung, Eulsun; Go, MunSuk
This study investigated how a collaborative mentoring program influenced beginning science teachers' inquiry-based teaching and their reflection on practice. The one-year program consisted of five one-on-one mentoring meetings, weekly science education seminars, weekly mentoring group discussions, and self-evaluation activities. The…
Baker, Dale R.; Lewis, Elizabeth B.; Uysal, Sibel; Purzer, Senay; Lang, Michael; Baker, Perry
This study describes the effect of embedding content in the Communication in Inquiry Science Project professional development model for science and language arts teachers. The model uses four components of successful professional development (content focus, active learning, extended duration, participation by teams of teachers from the same school…
The study aims to search the effect of guided inquiry laboratory experiments on students' attitudes towards chemistry laboratory, chemistry laboratory anxiety and their academic achievement in the laboratory. The study has been carried out with 37 third-year, undergraduate science education students, as a part of their Science Education Laboratory…
Corcoran, Thomas B.
This is the first report on the evaluation of the Inquiry Based Science and Technology Education Program (IN-STEP), an innovative and ambitious science education initiative for lower secondary schools being undertaken by a public-private partnership in Thailand funded by MSD-Thailand, an affiliate of Merck & Co. IN-STEP is a public-private…
Inquiry-based science teaching has been advocated by many science educational standards and reports from around the world. Disagreements about and concerns with this teaching approach, however, are often ignored. Opposing ideas and conflicting results have been bouncing around in the field. It seems that the field carries on with a hope that someday they can reconcile. Unfortunately, over half a century, the opposing views have never been reconciled. Rather, they have become clearly divided, as shown in a recent debate. As such, this article intends to serve as a bridge between people holding different views and to identify key disagreements that have been sustaining the tension. The purpose is to improve science education. Suggestions for future research are also provided for a discussion.
Nichols, Kim; Gillies, Robyn; Hedberg, John
This study explored the impact of argumentation-promoting collaborative inquiry and representational work in science on primary students' representational fluency. Two hundred sixty-six year 6 students received instruction on natural disasters with a focus on collaborative inquiry. Students in the Comparison condition received only this instruction. Students in the Explanation condition were also instructed with a focus on explanations using representations. Students in the Argumentation condition received similar instruction to the Comparison and Explanation conditions but were also instructed with a focus on argumentation using representations. Conceptual understanding and representational competencies (interpreting, explaining and constructing representations) were measured prior to and immediately following the instruction. A small group collaborative representational task was video recorded at the end of the instruction and coded for modes of knowledge-building discourse; knowledge-sharing and knowledge-construction. Higher measures of conceptual understanding, representational competencies and knowledge-construction discourse were taken together as representational fluency. Students in all conditions showed significant improvement in conceptual understanding, interpreting representations and explaining representations. Students in the Comparison and Argumentation conditions also showed significantly improved scores in constructing representations. When compared to the other conditions, the Explanation group had the highest scores in conceptual understanding and also interpreting and explaining representations. While the Argumentation group had the highest scores for constructing representations, their scores for conceptual understanding as well as interpreting and explaining representations were also high. There was no difference between the groups in knowledge-sharing discourse; however, the Argumentation group displayed the highest incidence of knowledge
Lui, Michelle Mei Yee
This dissertation investigates the design of complex inquiry for co-located students to work as a knowledge community within a mixed-reality learning environment. It presents the design of an immersive simulation called EvoRoom and corresponding collective inquiry activities that allow students to explore concepts around topics of evolution and biodiversity in a Grade 11 Biology course. EvoRoom is a room-sized simulation of a rainforest, modeled after Borneo in Southeast Asia, where several projected displays are stitched together to form a large, animated simulation on each opposing wall of the room. This serves to create an immersive environment in which students work collaboratively as individuals, in small groups and a collective community to investigate science topics using the simulations as an evidentiary base. Researchers and a secondary science teacher co-designed a multi-week curriculum that prepared students with preliminary ideas and expertise, then provided them with guided activities within EvoRoom, supported by tablet-based software as well as larger visualizations of their collective progress. Designs encompassed the broader curriculum, as well as all EvoRoom materials (e.g., projected displays, student tablet interfaces, collective visualizations) and activity sequences. This thesis describes a series of three designs that were developed and enacted iteratively over two and a half years, presenting key features that enhanced students' experiences within the immersive environment, their interactions with peers, and their inquiry outcomes. Primary research questions are concerned with the nature of effective design for such activities and environments, and the kinds of interactions that are seen at the individual, collaborative and whole-class levels. The findings fall under one of three themes: 1) the physicality of the room, 2) the pedagogical script for student observation and reflection and collaboration, and 3) ways of including collective
McCaughey, J.; Chong, E.
Singapore has a long tradition of geography education at the secondary and Junior College levels (ages 12-18). Although most geography teachers teach both human and physical geography, many of them have received more extensive university training in human geography. The Earth Obervatory of Singapore (EOS), a newly established research institute at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is building an education and outreach program to integrate its research across formal and informal education. We are collaborating with the Singapore Ministry of Education to enhance the earth-science content and inquiry basis of physical geography education in Singapore classrooms. EOS is providing input to national curriculum, textbook materials, and teaching resources, as well as providing inquiry-based field seminars and workshops for inservice teachers. An upcoming 5-year "Our Dynamic Earth" exhibit at the Science Centre Singapore will be a centerpoint of outreach to younger students, their teachers and parents, and to the community at large. On a longer time scale, the upcoming undergraduate program in earth science at NTU, the first of its kind in Singapore, will provide a stream of earth scientists into the geography teaching workforce. Developing ties between EOS and the National Institute of Education will further enhance teacher training. With a highly centralized curriculum, small land area, high-performing student population, and key stakeholders eager to collaborate with EOS, Singapore presents an unusual opportunity to impact classrooms on a national scale.
This article articulates how a ‘grasp of practice’ serves as a reasoning resource for inquiry and citizenship abilities associated with nature of science (NOS) understanding. Theoretically, this resource is elaborated through an overlapping concern with ‘practice’ in two literatures, science studies and psychology of learning, bringing attention to two key roles in scientific practice, Critiquers and Constructors of claims. Empirically, this resource is made plausible by the results of an expert-novice study and a classroom study. In the expert-novice study, reactions of scientists and laypeople to science-related claims in the popular media were contrasted, underlining the appropriate ways scientists tend to Critique such claims. In the classroom study, sixth-grade students engaged in a 2-week ramp experiment, experiencing first hand the roles of Critiquers and Constructors of claims, and were subsequently assessed with a novel experimental task. Performances suggest that students had attained a grasp of practice, going well beyond mere execution of methods or procedures. These results challenge a common assumption that declarative knowledge best characterizes learning targets for supporting inquiry and NOS understanding.
Hallman, Lydia Marie
Recent research shows that science as inquiry provides fundamental connections necessary for students to understand and enjoy science. Yet, few studies have analyzed the links between standardized testing and inquiry-based science instruction. This study determined the effect of inquiry-based science instruction on students' physical science achievement after accounting for the tremendous number of confounding variables that influence students' physical science achievement The study focused on students who take high-level chemistry and physics courses and used the opportunity-propensity framework to categorize independent variables into three groups: antecedent, opportunity, and propensity. Data came from two nationally representative data sets, the 2009 National Assessment Educational Program (NAEP) and the 2009 High School Transcript Study (HSTS). To account for the effects on error variance as a result of complex sampling and missing data, all correlation and stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted on two data sets, one created through list wise deletion and the other created through EM. Furthermore, analyses were conducted on unweighted and weighted datasets. Results from the study indicated that the Opportunity-Propensity framework accounted for approximately half of the differences in physical science achievement when antecedent, opportunity, and propensity factors were included. Traditional instruction was found to associate negatively with physical science achievement after controlling for the influence of known confounding variables. Inquiry-based science instruction as measured by this study was found to have insignificant association with physical achievement for students who take high-level chemistry and physics courses. A possible reason for this finding might be that the rigor of the AP/IB curriculum has intrinsic time constraints, thereby minimizing the opportunity for time consuming interactive activities. Another possible reason might
Chue, Shien; Lee, Yew-Jin
When students collaboratively design and build artifacts that require relevant understanding and application of science, many aspects of scientific literacy are developed. Design-based inquiry (DBI) is one such pedagogy that can serve these desired goals of science education well. Focusing on a Projectile Science curriculum previously found to be implemented with satisfactory fidelity, we investigate the many hidden challenges when using DBI with Grade 8 students from one school in Singapore. A case study method was used to analyze video recordings of DBI lessons conducted over 10 weeks, project presentations, and interviews to ascertain the opportunities for developing scientific literacy among participants. One critical factor that hindered learning was task selection by teachers, which emphasized generic scientific process skills over more important cognitive and epistemic learning goals. Teachers and students were also jointly engaged in forms of inquiry that underscored artifact completion over deeper conceptual and epistemic understanding of science. Our research surfaced two other confounding factors that undermined the curriculum; unanticipated teacher effects and the underestimation of the complexity of DBI and of inquiry science in general. Thus, even though motivated or experienced teachers can implement an inquiry science curriculum with good fidelity and enjoy school-wide support, these by themselves will not guarantee deep learning of scientific literacy in DBI. Recommendations are made for navigating the hands- and minds-on aspects of learning science that is an asset as well as inherent danger during DBI teaching.
Given reform recommendations emphasizing scientific inquiry and empirical evidence pointing to the difficulties beginning teachers face in enacting inquiry-based science, this study explores a well-started beginning elementary teacher's (Sofia) beliefs about inquiry-based science and related instructional practices. In order to explore Sofia's beliefs and instructional practices, several kinds of data were collected in a period of 9 months: a self-portrait and an accompanying narrative, a personal philosophy assignment, three interviews, three journal entries, ten lesson plans, and ten videotaped classroom observations. The analysis of these data showed that Sofia's beliefs and instructional practices were reform-minded. She articulated contemporary beliefs about scientific inquiry and how children learn science and was able to translate these beliefs into practice. Central to Sofia's beliefs about science teaching were scientific inquiry and engaging students in investigations with authentic data, with a prevalent emphasis on the role of evidence in the construction of scientific claims. These findings are important to research aiming at supporting teachers, especially beginning ones, to embrace reform recommendations.
Roehrig, G. H.; Michlin, M.; Schmitt, L.; MacNabb, C.; Dubinsky, J. M.
In science education, inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning provide a framework for students to building critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Teacher professional development has been an ongoing focus for promoting such educational reforms. However, despite a strong consensus regarding best practices for professional development, relatively little systematic research has documented classroom changes consequent to these experiences. This paper reports on the impact of sustained, multiyear professional development in a program that combined neuroscience content and knowledge of the neurobiology of learning with inquiry-based pedagogy on teachers’ inquiry-based practices. Classroom observations demonstrated the value of multiyear professional development in solidifying adoption of inquiry-based practices and cultivating progressive yearly growth in the cognitive environment of impacted classrooms. PMID:23222837
Roehrig, G H; Michlin, M; Schmitt, L; MacNabb, C; Dubinsky, J M
In science education, inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning provide a framework for students to building critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Teacher professional development has been an ongoing focus for promoting such educational reforms. However, despite a strong consensus regarding best practices for professional development, relatively little systematic research has documented classroom changes consequent to these experiences. This paper reports on the impact of sustained, multiyear professional development in a program that combined neuroscience content and knowledge of the neurobiology of learning with inquiry-based pedagogy on teachers' inquiry-based practices. Classroom observations demonstrated the value of multiyear professional development in solidifying adoption of inquiry-based practices and cultivating progressive yearly growth in the cognitive environment of impacted classrooms.
Intentional actions cover a broad spectrum of human behaviors involving consciousness, creativity, innovative thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and other related cognitive processes self-evident in the arts and sciences. The author discusses the brain activity associated with action intentions, connecting this activity with the creative process. Focusing on one seminal artwork created and exhibited over a period of three decades, Thought Assemblies (1979-82, 2014), he describes how this symbolic art interprets the neuropsychological processes of intuition and analytical reasoning. It explores numerous basic questions concerning observed interactions between artistic and scientific inquiries, conceptions, perceptions, and representations connecting mind and nature. Pointing to some key neural mechanisms responsible for forming and implementing intentions, he considers why and how we create, discover, invent, and innovate. He suggests ways of metaphorical thinking and symbolic modeling that can help integrate the neuroscience of intentional actions with the neuroscience of creativity, art and neuroaesthetics. PMID:26257629
Intentional actions cover a broad spectrum of human behaviors involving consciousness, creativity, innovative thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and other related cognitive processes self-evident in the arts and sciences. The author discusses the brain activity associated with action intentions, connecting this activity with the creative process. Focusing on one seminal artwork created and exhibited over a period of three decades, Thought Assemblies (1979–82, 2014), he describes how this symbolic art interprets the neuropsychological processes of intuition and analytical reasoning. It explores numerous basic questions concerning observed interactions between artistic and scientific inquiries, conceptions, perceptions, and representations connecting mind and nature. Pointing to some key neural mechanisms responsible for forming and implementing intentions, he considers why and how we create, discover, invent, and innovate. He suggests ways of metaphorical thinking and symbolic modeling that can help integrate the neuroscience of intentional actions with the neuroscience of creativity, art and neuroaesthetics. PMID:26257629
Hermann, Ronald S.; Miranda, Rommel J.
Although inquiry-based science teaching has been around since the 1960s, many teachers are slow to incorporate inquiry principles into their science lessons. The authors address this issue by using an analogy between a magician's card trick and open inquiry. This analogy was chosen to portray a difference of perspective and demonstrate how the…
van Zee, Emily H.
In this commentary, I first consider what Oliveira defines inquiry-based science instruction to be. Next I discuss what the discourse practices are that he is advocating. Then I examine what he presents as evidence of changes in two teachers' discourse practices due to a summer institute and how their pragmatic awareness seems to have been enhanced through institute activities. Finally I ponder whether, when, how, and why professional development should include a focus on ways of speaking during inquiry-based science instruction.
Adams, Jennifer; Luitel, Bal Chandra; Afonso, Emilia; Taylor, Peter Charles
This forum constitutes a cogenerative inquiry using postcolonial theory drawn from the review paper by Zembylas and Avraamidou. Three teacher educators from African, Asian and Caribbean countries reflect on problems confronting their professional practices and consider the prospects of creating culturally inclusive science education. We learn that in Mozambique, Nepal and the Caribbean scientism patrols the borders of science education serving to exclude local epistemological beliefs and discourses and negating culturally contextualized teaching and learning. Despite the diverse cultural hybridities of these countries, science education is disconnected from the daily lives of the majority of their populations, serving inequitably the academic Western-oriented aspirations of an elite group who are "living hybridity but talking scientism." The discussants explore their autobiographies to reveal core cultural values and beliefs grounded in their non-Western traditions and worldviews but which are in conflict with the Western Modern Worldview (WMW) and thus have no legitimate role in the standard school/college science classroom. They reflect on their hybrid cultural identities and reveal the interplay of multiple selves grounded in both the WMW and non-WMWs and existing in a dialectical tension of managed contradiction in a Third Space. They argue for dialectical logic to illuminate a Third Space wherein students of science education may be empowered to challenge hegemonies of cultural reproduction and examine reflexively their own identities, coming to recognize and reconcile their core cultural beliefs with those of Western modern science, thereby dissipating otherwise strongly delineated cultural borders.
Weinburgh, Molly; Silva, Cecilia; Smith, Kathy Horak; Groulx, Judy; Nettles, Jenesta
As teacher educators, we are tasked with preparing prospective teachers to enter a field that has undergone significant changes in student population and policy since we were K-12 teachers. With the emphasis placed on connections, mathematics integration, and communication by the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve in Next generation science standards, 2012), more research is needed on how teachers can accomplish this integration (Bunch in Rev Res Educ 37:298-341, 2013; Lee et al. in Educ Res 42(4):223-233, 2013). Science teacher educators, in response to the NGSS, recognize that it is necessary for pre-service and in-service teachers to know more about how instructional strategies in language and science can complement one another. Our purpose in this study was to explore a model of integration that can be used in classrooms. To do this, we examined the change in science content knowledge and academic vocabulary for English language learners (ELLs) as they engaged in inquiry-based science experience utilizing the 5R Instructional Model. Two units, erosion and wind turbines, were developed using the 5R Instructional Model and taught during two different years in a summer school program for ELLs. We analyzed data from interviews to assess change in conceptual understanding and science academic vocabulary over the 60 h of instruction. The statistics show a clear trend of growth supporting our claim that ELLs did construct more sophisticated understanding of the topics and use more language to communicate their knowledge. As science teacher educators seek ways to prepare elementary teachers to help preK-12 students to learn science and develop the language of science, the 5R Instructional Model is one pathway.
Aldahmash, Abdulwali H.; Mansour, Nasser S.; Alshamrani, Saeed M.; Almohi, Saeed
This study examines Saudi Arabian middle school science textbooks' coverage of the essential features of scientific inquiry. All activities in the middle school science textbooks and workbooks were analyzed by using the scientific inquiry "essential features" rubric. The results indicated that the essential features are included in about…
Baker, Dale R.; Lewis, Elizabeth B.; Purzer, Senay; Watts, Nievita Bueno; Perkins, Gita; Uysal, Sibel; Wong, Sissy; Beard, Rachelle; Lang, Michael
This study reports on the context and impact of the Communication in Science Inquiry Project (CISIP) professional development to promote teachers' and students' scientific literacy through the creation of science classroom discourse communities. The theoretical underpinnings of the professional development model are presented and key professional…
Bell, Randy L.; Blair, Lesley M.; Lederman, Norman G.; Crawford, Barbara A.
Science educators often assume and expect that students who are actively engaged in scientific inquiry should develop more accurate understandings of science and the construction of scientific knowledge. However, this assumption, while intuitive, has not been validated. This paper reports on a study that sought to determine the impact of an 8-week…
Forbes, Cory T.
In this nested mixed methods study I investigate factors influencing preservice elementary teachers' adaptation of science curriculum materials to better support students' engagement in science as inquiry. Analyses focus on two "reflective teaching assignments" completed by 46 preservice elementary teachers in an undergraduate elementary science…
Capobianco, Brenda M.; Lincoln, Susan; Canuel-Browne, Donna; Trimarchi, Ruth
The purpose of this article is to examine the teacher research movement from the perspective of three generations of teacher researchers within the context of a unique collaborative science teacher action research group. The question that guided the study was the following: In what ways do three generations of science teachers perceive their…
Mitchener, Carole P.; Jackson, Wendy M.
In this article, we present a case study of a beginning science teacher's year-long action research project, during which she developed a meaningful grasp of learning from practice. Wendy was a participant in the middle grade science program designed for career changers from science professions who had moved to teaching middle grade science. An…
Pine, Jerome; Aschbacher, Pamela; Roth, Ellen; Jones, Melanie; McPhee, Cameron; Martin, Catherine; Phelps, Scott; Kyle, Tara; Foley, Brian
A large number of American elementary school students are now studying science using the hands-on inquiry curricula developed in the 1990s: Insights; Full Option Science System (FOSS); and Science and Technology for Children (STC). A goal of these programs, echoed in the National Science Education Standards, is that children should gain abilities to do scientific inquiry and understanding about scientific inquiry. We have studied the degree to which students can do inquiries by using four hands-on performance assessments, which required one or three class periods. To be fair, the assessments avoided content that is studied in depth in the hands-on programs. For a sample of about 1000 fifth grade students, we compared the performance of students in hands-on curricula with an equal number of students with textbook curricula. The students were from 41 classrooms in nine school districts. The results show little or no curricular effect. There was a strong dependence on students' cognitive ability, as measured with a standard multiple-choice instrument. There was no significant difference between boys and girls. Also, there was no difference on a multiple-choice test, which used items released from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). It is not completely clear whether the lack of difference on the performance assessments was a consequence of the assessments, the curricula, and/or the teaching.
Van Booven, Christopher D.
Building on the 'questioning-based discourse analytical' framework developed by Singapore-based science educator and discourse analyst, Christine Chin, this study investigated the extent to which fifth-grade science teachers' use of questions with either an authoritative or dialogic orientation differentially restricted or expanded the quality and complexity of student responses in the USA. The author analyzed approximately 10 hours of classroom discourse from elementary science classrooms organized around inquiry-based science curricula and texts. Teacher questions and feedback were classified according to their dialogic orientation and contextually inferred structural purpose, while student understanding was operationalized as a dynamic interaction between cognitive process, syntacto-semantic complexity, and science knowledge type. The results of this study closely mirror Chin's and other scholars' findings that the fixed nature of authoritatively oriented questioning can dramatically limit students' opportunities to demonstrate higher order scientific understanding, while dialogically oriented questions, by contrast, often grant students the discursive space to demonstrate a greater breadth and depth of both canonical and self-generated knowledge. However, certain teacher questioning sequences occupying the 'middle ground' between maximal authoritativeness and dialogicity revealed patterns of meaningful, if isolated, instances of higher order thinking. Implications for classroom practice are discussed along with recommendations for future research.
The goal of Earth Revealed, a permanent exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is to teach the science behind climate change by making the data accessible, personable, and relevant. In live science experiences guided by an MSI facilitator, guests discuss, vote, share knowledge, ideas, and action items that individuals can take to help reduce climate change. Through a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), MSI receives the data sets and images that are projected onto a spherical display system. Using the Science on a Sphere, facilitators engage guests in a live participatory show up to five times a day to discuss climate change. Facilitators are trained to use inquiry based learning strategies and positive reinforcement engagement strategies. In the 20 minute live science experience, audience members participate and the facilitator is expected to tailor content according to the group's responses. The theme of Earth Revealed is climate change, and there are multiple stories that facilitators use to engage guests. Based on images from NOAA and through current science news research facilitators discuss content ranging from sea surface temperature to the earth's atmosphere. CO2 + You is the title of the longest running live science experience in Earth Revealed, and is dedicated to teaching how CO2 relates to climate change and how guests can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thus help mitigate climate change. Participants in this session will learn a bit more in depth about the structure of MSI's Earth Revealed Live Science Experiences, and learn the teaching and participation strategies applied to increase guest participation, discussion, and learning. Session attendees will have an opportunity to participate in the inquiry process and explore various types of positive reinforcement strategies MSI facilitators are trained to implement.