"Looking at the overall perspective of education students in the way of science, they want to take a hands-on approach to the entire process. As I said in an earlier class, we really want the process of learning to be hands on and to have the students discover things for themselves and to be spurred to other tangents. It is about having the students look into what they are curious about." This is the premise of how the students are supposed to learn.

During assignment 4, we are supposed to teach the lesson, and during this lesson I wanted to really focus on having the students direct the conversation and the general direction of where the lesson went. I wanted the students to help each other come to different discoveries and answers to their questions.

Looking at how inquiry based science actually works; there are some elements that you will see. The following are examples of them.

  • In the classroom, the teacher acts as a mediator of knowledge rather than directly communicating the knowledge to the students.
  • The subject matter, methods and problems that will be studied come from the students and not the teachers.
  • The knowledge is built in a step by step method. Building upon what has come before.
  • Learning process is best done in group situations.

Below are some guidelines that are typically used when looking at an inquiry based science curriculum.

  • Start with an open-ended question or demonstration (as opposed to beginning a lesson with definitions and explanations).
  • Gather responses and subsequent questions from students with little comment or direction.
  • Require students to collaborate on designing experiments or methods of inquiry.
  • Student teams conduct experiments or gather data.
  • If time allows, re-evaluate question based on new data and re-experiment or collect new data based on revised question.
  • Students present findings as an oral presentation, a poster presentation or an evaluative write-up.

When I was looking back at my lesson I saw how important this last bullet actually is. The times that we did experiments and lessons throughout the year in groups, the discussions and debates we have had are more rich and in depth rather than just simple and short answers. The more I look into this concept and the more that I learn about it, I am realizing how important it is for inquiry based science is in a learning environment. It is paramount for the students to be active in their learning process.

Here are some examples of inquiry based science

  • Students work in groups to build bridges to hold marble weights. By doing so they discover how to build strong bridges.
  • Students learn about inertia and movement by studying what affect rolling of marbles on different surfaces has.
  • Students develop a method to find which antacid tablets are the best at neutralizing acids.

*examples comes from Wikipedia


© 2008 Christopher Kotila