Inquiry

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Some basics and ideas around teaching Inquiry science for middle years teachers

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Inquiry

  1. 1. David GeelanGriffith University
  2. 2. Constructivist-referenced Inquiry is not constructivism, although it is ateaching-learning approach that is consistentwith constructivist theories about knowingand learning
  3. 3. Open-ended vs Open-entry Inquiry can be open-entry (starts with a broadquestion but ends up with the development ofa pre-planned scientific concept, for example)or open-ended (inquiry into a social ortechnological question where each studentends up with a different answer).
  4. 4. Questioning Inquiry is about asking questions in class. It’sabout what kinds of questions are asked (justfactual recall, or synthesis and application, orlife-application, or open-entry/ended inquiryquestions). It’s also about who asks thequestions – the teacher or the students? Andeven if the teacher asks the question, do thestudents come to ‘own’ it during the inquiry?
  5. 5. Language Students can develop new concepts (for them)in the process of inquiry, but they are unlikelyto arrive at the same vocabulary andconventions of communication that scientistsuse, so the teacher has an important role in‘translating’ student concepts into scientificlanguage, and in teaching scientific language.
  6. 6. Empirical Inquiry can include library and web searches,but should not be limited to these.Considering that scientific concepts are tested(in experiments) against the real world,inquiry lessons that include real experimentsare likely to be very powerful.
  7. 7. Teacher Role Inquiry does not mean that the teacher’s roledisappears or is minimised… the teacher isactively involved in planning for inquiry andin facilitating and supporting the students’activities at every stage.
  8. 8. Scaffolding Inquiry  Teachers have a key role in facilitating inquiry Scaffolding inquiry means supporting the students as they develop the necessary skills These include designing inquiries, and collecting, analysing and interpreting data
  9. 9. Arousal  An important part of the teacher’s role is managing students’ engagement and attention. A small amount of frustration can be helpful if it is encouraging students to explore and find ways to satisfy their curiosity, but too much frustration can lead students to give up. In that situation it’s important for the teacher to come in with a hint or suggestion to allow some progress to be made and students to feel successful.
  10. 10. Arousal  An important part of the teacher’s role is managing students’ engagement and attention. A small amount of frustration can be helpful if it is encouraging students to explore and find ways to satisfy their curiosity, but too much frustration can lead students to give up. In that situation it’s important for the teacher to come in with a hint or suggestion to allow some progress to be made and students to feel successful.

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