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Scientific Inquiry in the College, Secondary, and Primary School Classroom

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School science is not authentic science. However, inquiry activities are authentic science. ... in a hands-on activity or simulation. formulate questions ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Scientific Inquiry in the College, Secondary, and Primary School Classroom


1
Scientific Inquiry in the College, Secondary, and
Primary School Classroom
  • Loretta Jones
  • University of Northern Colorado (UNC)

2
Teaching science is becoming more complex
  • Science is changing.
  • The world is changing.
  • We know more about how learning takes place.

3
Scientific research is changing.
  • New research technologies
  • Growing interdisciplinary focus

4
The world is changing.
  • From a text-based society to an image-based
    society.
  • New tools lead to changes in the curriculum.
  • Schools are changing.
  • Students are changing.

5
We know more about how students learn.
  • Individual differences
  • Learning styles
  • Cognitive styles
  • Student misconceptions preconceptions
  • Importance of active learning
  • The difference between authentic scientific
    inquiry and school science

6
Authentic Science
  • Scientists
  • Make observations
  • Formulate problems
  • Search for information
  • Design experiments and materials
  • Make and check predictions
  • Make discoveries

7
School Science
  • Children
  • Solve problems for which the answers are
    already known.
  • Report laboratory work by filling in blanks.
  • Memorize information.
  • Take multiple-choice tests.
  • School science is not authentic science.
  • However, inquiry activities are authentic
    science.

8
What is inquiry?
  • "Inquiry is an approach to learning that involves
    a process of exploring the natural or material
    world, that leads to asking questions and making
    discoveries in the search for new
    understandings." (http//www.exploratorium.edu/IF
    I/resources/inquirydesc.html)
  • Inquiry education is where we can create
    opportunities for students to be engaged in
    active learning based on their own questions.
    http//www.inquiry.uiuc.edu/whatsnew/workshop.php

9
Criteria for inquiry
  • Children must
  • be actively involved in a hands-on activity or
    simulation
  • formulate questions
  • make and check predictions
  • design/carry out investigations
  • collect, analyze, and explain data
  • manipulate variables
  • report results and compare them with accepted
    facts
  • develop scientific reasoning skills
  • are stimulated to learn more

10
In inquiry learning children formulate questions.
11
The Research Literature Shows
  • Good lectures can be effective means of
    instruction for teaching theory and concepts.
  • Problem-solving skills are taught more
    effectively in small cooperative groups.
  • Practical skills taught more effectively in a
    hands-on laboratory setting.
  • Active involvement promotes learning.

12
Study 1 Lecture attentiveness Harold
Horowitz, IBM
  • Small, management training classes
  • Highly motivated adult students
  • But not reaching goals.
  • Observers in classrooms
  • Two types of instructor identified
  • Lecture
  • Lecture-discussion

13
Traditional Lecture
14
Lecture vs. Lecture-Disc.
15
Rocky Mountain Teacher Education Collaborative
  • A 5 year program in 6 colleges to improve science
    and math teacher preparation through redesigning
    college-level instruction.

16
Cooperative learning groups
  • Structured active learning in the lecture hall
  • Heterogeneous groups
  • Positive interdependence
  • Individual responsibility
  • Some elements of inquiry

17
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18
Study 2 How do students react to active working
groups?L. Jones, UNC
  • Do students believe that cooperative groups help
    them learn?
  • Do students prefer group work or lectures alone?
  • N 101

19
Group work helped me to understand chemistry
better.
20
Groups helped me develop problem-solving
strategies
21
I would pick a class with group work over one
without.
22
Study 3 Classroom Observations Lynn Geiger, UNC
  • Same instructor, two different methods
  • Experimental cooperative working groups
  • Control traditional lecture
  • No difference in content learning.
  • Differences were seen in classroom observations.
  • N(Experimental) 12 male, 23 female
  • N(Control) 22 male, 29 female

23
Observation checklist
  • Who answered the teachers
  • Low-level questions?
  • High-level questions?

24
Who answered the questions?
25
Who answered the high-level questions?
26
POGIL Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning
  • National project to promote inquiry learning
  • www.pogil.org
  • Activities to download
  • Teaching guides

27
POGIL Students
  • Are actively engaged and thinking in class.
  • Learn how science is done by analyzing data and
    drawing conclusions.
  • Work together in self-managed teams to understand
    concepts and solve problems.

28
How can computers facilitate inquiry?
29
Comprehensive Chemistry Curriculum
  • Challenges children to experiment.

30
ChemDiscovery
  • Challenges students to construct the world.

31
How do teachers learn to teach scientific inquiry?
32
We have developed a specialized course in
scientific inquiry for elementary school teachers
at UNC
33
Elementary education at the University of
Northern Colorado
  • Students major in Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Liberal Arts (IDLA)
  • Students select an emphasis area, such as social
    studies, English, chemistry
  • All IDLA students must complete three science
    courses

34
Science courses for elementary teachers
  • Introductory courses
  • SCI 265 (physics and chemistry)
  • BIO 265 (biology)
  • ESCI 265 (earth science)
  • Capstone inquiry science course (rich in
    technology)
  • SCI 465 (all sciences)

35
SCI 465
  • Taught by faculty from all science departments
  • About 90-120 students/semester in
  • 3-4 sections of 24-30 students each

36
Focus of the course To learn about scientific
inquiry in the context of doing inquiry.
37
Science 465
  • Lecture/lab room with prep area 20 laptops to
    facilitate inquiry

38
SCI 465
  • Goals
  • To examine science as a way of knowing.
  • To develop a sense of how I learn by inquiry.
  • To understand the interrelationships between
    scientific discovery and society.
  • To develop a portfolio of inquiry teaching
    resources.
  • To learn to use computers as an inquiry tool.
  • To provide science content for Colorado
  • Science Content Standards.

39
SCI 465
  • Textbooks
  • What Science Is and How It Works, by Gregory N.
    Derry
  • Science Matters Achieving Scientific Literacy,
    by Hazen and Trefil

40
Science content
  • The nature of scientific inquiry
  • Earth system science
  • Plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes)
  • Geologic time
  • Climate
  • Physics
  • Flow and conservation of energy
  • Electromagnetic spectrum
  • Chemistry
  • Organization of elements
  • Nature of matter
  • Biology
  • Diversity of species
  • Natural selection

41
Types of course activities
  • Online activities (www.dlese.org)
  • Hands-on activities
  • Blackboard Online quizzes, discussion,
    resources, surveys, links
  • Inquiry essay paper
  • Selection, evaluation and design of inquiry
    activities
  • Book report posters
  • Group project
  • Peer review
  • New palm pilot activities

42
WorldWatcher software A powerful modeling tool
Free downloads at www.worldwatcher.northwestern.e
du/
43
Sample group projects
  • Modeling climate in Worldwatcher
  • Designing a planet
  • Symmetry and beauty
  • Dancing spaghetti
  • Cookie consistency

44
Chemistry activities vary by instructor
  • Online
  • Construction of the periodic table
  • www.genesismission.org/educate/scimodule/cosmic/pt
    able.html
  • Global warming www.epa.gov/globalwarming/kids/ver
    sion2.html
  • Gas laws web.umr.edu/gbert/Gas/AIGases.html
  • Developing an equation from data
    http//ippex.pppl.gov/interactive/energy/
  • Paper
  • Library analogy of the periodic table
  • Hands-on
  • Generating gases
  • Constructing solar cells
  • http//mrsec.wisc.edu/edetc/nanolab/index.html
  • Polymers
  • Onion DNA

45
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46
www.explorelearning.com
47
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48
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49
Chemistry activity survey, Spring 2004
  • Was it a good inquiry-based activity?
  • Was it an enjoyable activity?
  • Was content learned from the activity?

50
Was it a good inquiry-based activity? (1-10)
51
Was content learned from the activity? (1-10)
52
Some student comments about the introductory,
historical part of the course
  • I thought it was interesting learning about the
    history part of science because it is not
    something I have done in any other science class.
  • In all of my other science class sic we only
    talked about the concepts, so here I learned what
    else was going on when the concept took place.
  • I enjoyed seeing the way science is affected
  • by or affected society.

53
Some student comments about the introductory,
historical part of the course
  • I would have wished to do more of this and learn
    basic facts and fun information about scientists
    and scientific movements or theories.
  • It was somewhat interesting, but I liked all the
    hands-on activities a lot more and learned a lot
    more.
  • It helped me to understand why we use
  • science the way we do instead of just
  • doing it.

54
Acknowledgements
  • Kimberly Pacheco, Chemistry
  • Richard Schwenz, Chemistry
  • Michael Taber, Earth Science
  • Courtney Willis, Physics
  • Teresa Higgins, Biology and Elem. Ed.
  • Carol Fortino, Biology and Elem. Ed.
  • Lori Reinsvold, MAST Institute
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