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Teaching through Inquiry

A review of the what, who, why and how of teaching students using inquiry, with references.

Nicole Luinenburg

on 24 July 2013

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Transcript of Teaching through Inquiry

Pre- and Post- Inquiry Activity Assessment (Snodgrass et al.; Chan et al., 2012)
Tangible metric for growth of student skill /understanding
Reflective tool for improvement of activity for future use

Isomorphic Questions (Snodgrass, 2011)
Definition: test the same concept but use different scenarios
Isomorphic questions may be used on evaluations subsequent to an inquiry-based activity

Rubrics ( Wang & Allen, 2003; Chung & Jackson Behan, 2010)
Provides clear evaluation standards for students within the open-ended nature of inquiry-based learning

Popular Culture Context (Chung & Jackson Behan, 2010)
place inquiry within context of popular culture to promotes student interest and buy-in
Ex. Critiquing the science within popular movies

Teaching through Inquiry
Who does what in Inquiry?
Assessment and Evaluation Strategies
Inquiry Skill Development Through
Assessment & Evaluation
Creative Scientific Thought – CST / Critical Thinking – CT / Critiquing – CR / Effort / Determination / Involvement – EDI Persuading others – PO / Scientific Literacy including first hand literature – SL / Scientific Method – SM
Scientific questioning – SQ / Teamwork – TW / Written Communication – WC
1) Time
Why Real-World Inquiry?
Students use the inquiry process to investigate events and problems occurring locally, nationally, and/or globally
Assessment and Evaluation Strategies
- Continued -
On-Going Assessment For Learning
Key tool for student direction and improved quality of work
May be carried out by he teacher and/or peers (Chung & Jackson Behan, 2010; Bailey et al., 2012)
Key Specific Areas
Lab design and design process
Drafts of written communications (written lab write-ups, poster presentations, critiques, reviews) leading to final product (Chung & Jackson Behan, 2010; Wang & Allen, 2003, pp 39; Bailey et al., 2012)
Display of answers to inquiry-based guided questions by students (Bailey et al., 2012)
Properly Scaffolding Inquiry Based Learning
Assistive Technologies
What is Inquiry Learning???
Inquiry can be defined as "a flexible and active process of learning, characterized by questions, investigations, explorations, applications and synthesis" (Brown, 2003)
There are many benefits for students, such as:
Equal or
achievement compared to traditional teaching (eg. textbooks)

ability to apply their knowledge to new contexts

in engagement and self-motivation
ability to connect their learning to real world experiences

instances of creative and complex thinking,
able to form questions and propose explanations

GREATER achievement of at-risk students

Habits of Mind
An Overview of What Inquiry Supports
• Skepticism
• Meta-cognition
• Open-mindedness

• Critical thinking
• Problem solving
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Persuasive Writing/ Speech

• Open-ended guided questions

• Computer-based simulations and modelling

• Problem Based Learning

How do we "do" inquiry?
Just 10 simple steps......

Get them ready
Set them free to investigate (with support)
Discuss key concepts
Teach skills: investigating, observing and analyzing
Model using skills and give students practice
Develop own hypotheses with peer support
Teach research skills (eg. reliability and bias)
Group chooses one hypothesis to investigate
Investigate and collect data/ research
Write individual reports, with peer reviews
Present and connect to original problem
Write reflection on learning and process
Criswell (2012)
Puntambekar, Sadhana, and Roland Hubscher (2005)
Wilke & Straits (2005)

Bodzin et. al (2007)
Hasselbring & Bausch (2005)
Messinger-Willman & Marino (2010)

Bailey, C.B., Minderhout, V., & Loetscher, J. (2012). Learning Transferable Skills in Large Lecture Halls: Implementing a POGIL Approach in Biochemistry. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 40(1), 1.

Barron, P. E. (2005). The impact of a dedicated science-technology-society (STS) course on student knowledge of STS content. (Order No. 3343464, Syracuse University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 285-n/a.

Bodzin, A. M., Waller, P. L., Edwards Santoro, L., & Kale, D. (2007). Investigating the use of inquiry and web-based activities with inclusive biology learners. The American Biology Teacher, 69(5), 273-279. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from ProQuest Education Journals.

Chan, K.Y.K., Yang, S., Maliska, M., Grunbaum, D. (2012). An Interdisciplinary Guided Inquiry on Esuarine Transport Using a Computer Model in High School Classrooms. The American Biology Teacher 74(1), 26.

Chung, H-M and Jackson Behan, K. (2010). Peer Sharing Facilitates the Effect of Inquiry-based Projects on Science Learning. The American Biology Teacher 72(1), 24.

Criswell, B. (2012). Framing inquiry in high school chemistry: Helping students see the bigger picture. Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 199-205. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from ProQuest Education Journals.

Hasselbring, T. S., & Bausch, M. E. (2005). Assistive technologies for reading. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 72-75. Retrieved July 20, 2013, from ProQuest Education Journals.

Hill, A. M., & Smith, H. A. (2005). Research in purpose and value for the study of technology in secondary schools: A theory of authentic learning. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 15(1), 19-32.

Hodson, D. (2010). Science education as a call to action. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education,10(3), 197

Hume, A. (2009). Authentic scientific inquiry and school science. Teaching Science, 55(2), 35-41.

Hume, A., & Coll, R. (2010). Authentic student inquiry: The mismatch between the intended curriculum and the student-experienced curriculum. Research in Science & Technological Education, 28(1), 43.

Lustick, D. (2009). The failure of inquiry: Preparing science teachers with an authentic investigation. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 20(6), 583-604.

Messinger-Willman, J., & Marino, M. T. (2010, March). Universal design for learning and assistive technology: Leadership considerations for promoting inclusive education in today's secondary schools.

Moebius-Clune, B., Elsevier, I. H., Crawford, B. A., Trautmann, N. M., Schindelbeck, R. R., & van Es, H.,M. (2011). Moving authentic soil research into high school classrooms: Student engagement and learning. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 40, 102-113.

Puntambekar, S., & Hubscher, R.  (2005).  Tools for scaffolding students in a complex learning environment: What have we gained and what have we missed? Educational Psychologist, 40(1), 1-12.  Retrieved July 14, 2013 fromProQuest Education Journals.

Rau, G. (2004). How Small is a Cell?. The Science Teacher. 71(8), 38.

Snodgrass, M.A., Nicholas, L., & Metz, A.M. A Guided-Inquiry pH Laboratory Exercise for Introductory Biological Science Laboratories. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(3), 80.

Wang, D. & Allen, M. (2003). Understanding by Design Meets Integrated Science. The Science Teacher, 70(7), 37.

Warner, A. J., & Meyers, B. E. (2008). Implementing inquiry-based teaching methods. In University of Florida IFAS Extension. Retrieved July 20, 2013, from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc076

Yager, S. O., Lim, G., & Yager, R. E. (2006). The advantages of an STS approach over a typical textbook dominated approach in middle school science. School Science and Mathematics, 106(5), 248-260.
Challenges Suggestion(s)
Even with many reasons supporting inquiry, and some tools on how to implement it, some challenges still may remain:
Chunk Expectations
Focus on Big Ideas and Overall Expectations
2) Student Comfort Level
Practice with mini-inquiry sessions (eg. Drops on a Penny)
Build up to full a inquiry project throughout the semester
3) Teacher Comfort Level
PD Sessions
Support resources (Smarter Science, OCT - Fostering Professional Inquiry Kit, Naturalcuriousity.ca)
Full transcript