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Inquiry Based Learning

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Presentation on theme: "Inquiry Based Learning"— Presentation transcript:

1 Inquiry Based Learning
adapted with permission from Douglas Llewellyn School of Education St. John Fisher College Rochester, New York

2 Descriptions of Skills Used in Scientific Inquiry (Ministry of Education, 2008) for Grades 9-12
Initiating and Planning - Formulate questions or hypotheses or make predictions about issues, problems, or the relationship between observable variables, and plan investigations to answer the questions or test the hypotheses/predictions Performing and Recording - Conduct research by gathering, organizing, and recording information from appropriate sources; and conduct inquiries, making observations and collecting, organizing, and recording qualitative and quantitative data Analyzing and Interpreting - Evaluate the reliability of data from inquiries, and of information from research sources, and analyze the data or information to identify patterns and relationships and draw and justify results Communicating - Use appropriate linguistic, numeric, symbolic, and graphic modes to communicate ideas, procedures, results, and conclusions in a variety of ways

3 “Inquiry is a multi-faceted activity that involves making observations, posing questions; examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating results” (NRC, 1996).

4 “Smarter Science” Process Skills
Questioning Observing Inferring Searching Measuring Using instruments Comparing Contrasting Classifying Experimenting Gathering data Recording Analyzing Reviewing Reporting Discussing Reflecting Explaining

5 Where do I begin?

6 Set Professional Goals for Expectations
Levels of Teaching Science What’s Your Present State? What’s Your Desired State? What’s Your Instructional Pie?


8 Levels of Teaching Reading & Telling Discussing Demonstrating
Prescribed Activities & Labs Problem Solving Activities Inquiry-based Investigations

9 What’s Your Instructional Pie?


11 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#10 I feel more comfortable teaching the traditional labs. That’s the way I was taught.

12 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#9 When you teach through inquiry, you lose control.

13 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#8 I have not had any professional development on teaching through inquiry.

14 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#7 Inquiry is not a focus of the textbook I am using.

15 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#6 Students need to be told how to do a science experiment.

16 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#5 I don’t have enough supplies and equipment to do inquiry.

17 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#4 Students don’t have the background or the skills to do inquiry.

18 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#3 I have too much content I have to cover.

19 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#2 Students are accustomed to getting an answer from their teacher.

20 10 Reasons Teachers Say They Can’t Do Inquiry
#1 I don’t have enough classroom time to do inquiry.

21 Myths and Misconceptions about Inquiry-Based Teaching
Doing hands-on is the same as doing inquiry. Inquiry is unstructured and chaotic. Inquiry involves asking a lot of questions. Doing scientific inquiry is the same as using the scientific method.

22 Myths and Misconceptions about Inquiry-Based Teaching
Only high-achieving students can learn through inquiry. Inquiry is the latest “fad” in teaching science. You can’t assess inquiry. Students learn about scientific inquiry and the NOS from doing inquiry.


24 Expectations and Goals of the Science and Technology Program
#2 - to develop skills, strategies, and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry and technological problem solving

25 Building Capacity

26 “Inquiry is not just finding the right answers,
it’s seeking the right questions.” D. Llewellyn, Inquire Within

27 “Of one thing I am convinced
“Of one thing I am convinced. I have never seen anyone improve in the art and techniques of inquiry by any means other than engaging in inquiry.” Jerome Bruner, 1961

28 Paper Fold-Ability Claim: a piece of paper can only be folded in half 7 times. How many times can you fold a 8½" X 11" piece of paper in half?

29 5 Elements of Inquiry (NRC, 2000)
The learner engages (physically, mentally and personally) with a science-oriented question. The learner gives priority to evidence when responding to a question. The learner uses evidence to form an explanation. The learner connects an explanation to scientific knowledge. The learner communicates and justifies an explanation.

30 “The purpose on inquiry is not to instill curiosity in students, but rather to discover it; for curiosity and inquisitiveness already lie within the individual – awaiting opportunities to be revealed and made known.” D. Llewellyn

31 Four Levels of Science Inquiry:
Demonstrated Structured Guided Self-Directed

32 Invitation to Inquiry Grid
Demon- Structured Guided Self- strated Inquiry Inquiry Directed Inquiry Inquiry Q Teacher Teacher Teacher Student P Teacher Teacher Student Student R Teacher Student Student Student

33 Demonstrated Inquiry Where students observe a teacher-led inquiry and draw conclusions from their observations. It usually ends with a surprising, puzzling, counter-intuitive result. Also called a discrepant event.

34 Discrepant Events Wonder (Ah) + Laughter (Ha) = “I got it!” (Ah Ha)

35 Structured Inquiry Where students engage in a hands-on investigation by following a sequence of procedures provided by the teacher or the textbook. The students then collect and organize the data, and make claims and explanations from the evidence. Sometimes misnamed cookbook labs, confirmation labs, and verification labs.

36 Guided Inquiry Where the teacher provides the question or a problem to be investigated and a suggested list of the materials to be used. The students then, on their own, design and carry out a procedure for the investigation. Also called problem solving or teacher-initiated inquiry.

37 Self-Directed Inquiry
Where students generate their own questions concerning a topic or phenomenon and then design their investigations to solve their questions. At the end, they make and justify their claims with supporting evidence. Also called full inquiry, open inquiry, or student-initiated inquiry.


39 Teacher - Student Positional Relationships in Inquiry

40 The Art and Science of Inquiry

41 The Art and Science of Inquiry

42 The Art and Science of Inquiry

43 The Art and Science of Inquiry

44 Finger-Painting Sandbox Science Paint by Numbers Structured Labs Paint Bowl of Fruit Problem-Solving Paint What You Like Scientific Inquiry

45 Modifying Traditional Labs
Do the lab before introducing formal concepts Use a discrepant event to initiate the question or topic to be investigated

46 Modifying Traditional Labs
Revise the materials section Remove the safely rules Revise the procedure section Add procedural errors

47 Modifying Traditional Labs
Take away the data table or chart Add extension or “going further” questions and investigations to the end of the lab Encourage students to use reasoning and argumentation skills to link their claims, evidence, and explanations.

48 Self-Directed Learning Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee
Self-assess the “present” self Form an image of the “desired” self Plan professional development to bridge the gap Create a support system Improve performance through practice and reflection Monitor progress

49 The Change Process Transforming Practice Takes 3-5 years
Who Moved My Cheese? Our Iceberg Is Melting

50 Join or Form a Support Group
Reading Articles and Books on Inquiry Journaling Progress Sharing Instructional Successes Reflecting with Colleagues Collaborating with Peers Using the Japanese Lesson Study Using the 5E Lesson Plan

51 The 3 R’s Re-structuring the science curriculum & lessons; including the modification of traditional labs Re-tooling the teacher’s instructional strategies and questioning skills through on-going professional development Re-culturing the classroom norms and relationships that foster inquiry-based strategies and a learner-centered environment


53 “When you inspire students to imagine beyond their expectations, to seek more questions than they will ever answer, and to persist when others concede, you are becoming an inquiry-based teacher.” D. Llewellyn

54 In closing… The average teacher tells us.
The good teacher tells us and explains why. The better teacher shows us and explains why. The greatest teacher inspires us to inquire on our own.

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