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INQUIRY: TO TEACH CONTENT AND PROCESS i-STEM Presentation Louis Nadelson, Ph.D. Summer 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "INQUIRY: TO TEACH CONTENT AND PROCESS i-STEM Presentation Louis Nadelson, Ph.D. Summer 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 INQUIRY: TO TEACH CONTENT AND PROCESS i-STEM Presentation Louis Nadelson, Ph.D. Summer 2010

2 PRESENTATION GOALS Define “inquiry-based instructional practices” Explain why they should be used to teach STEM What are the roles of the teacher and what are the roles of the students

3 CHALLENGE WITH INQUIRY The challenge with defining inquiry is the reality that the same term can mean different things to people (Chinn & Malholtra, 2002). For example, Abd-El- Khalick and colleagues (2004) contend that many interpret “inquiry” to be representative of good science instruction and yet, inquiry can be more specifically defined and identified as an approach to scientifically investigating phenomena.

4 A RESEARCH BASED APPROACH TO TEACHING LEARNING GOALS ASSESSMENT INSTRUCTION CURRICULUM RESEARCH

5 WHAT IS INQUIRY? The National Research Council (1996) defines inquiry as: The diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world.

6 IS INQUIRY EFFECTIVE FOR LEARNING? In their review of literature reporting investigations of middle school inquiry-based science from 1990 to 2008, Nadelson and Williams (Under Review) found that there inquiry based learning leads to increases in both science achievement and knowledge of science processes – with the largest gains reported for low-academic ability learners

7 DISCONNECT WITH TEACHING INQUIRY We expect teachers to teach using inquiry practices in STEM and yet very few teachers have had authentic inquiry experiences upon which to base their practice (Southerland, Nadelson, Sowell, Under Review) However, guided or scaffolded higher levels of inquiry may be very effectively used with novice learners (Nadelson, 2009)

8 LEARNING – IN BRIEF… Learning involves the acquisition and integration of new information and is based on prior knowledge The goal of learning is becoming an “expert” Learning frequently requires correcting naïve or false conceptions about a complex topic Learning is required to become a member of a community of practice

9 LEARNER ROLES IN INQUIRY INSTRUCTION Learners: – engage in scientifically oriented questions – PRIOR KNOWLEDGE. – give priority to evidence, which allows them to evaluate explanations that address scientific questions - REFLECTION. – formulate explanations from evidence to address scientifically oriented questions – APPLICATION. – evaluate their explanations in light of alternative explanations, particularly those reflecting scientific understanding – EVALUATION. – communicate and justify their proposed explanations – ELABORATION.

10 AN INQUIRY ACTIVITY Paper helicopters – Build the helicopter – Does it work? How? Make at least TWO variations to the design – What happened? – Why? Conclude and compare results

11 LEARNER ROLES IN INQUIRY INSTRUCTION "Wow! If we learn from our mistakes, I ought to be a genius by now."

12 EXPECTED BENEFITS OF INQUIRY Students doing science Applying practiced techniques to new situations Understanding of “why” Student interest/motivation Students taking part in their learning Students learning they have valuable thoughts and ideas

13 LEVELS OF INQUIRY Inquiry Level Source of the Question Data Collection Methods Interpretation of Results Evaluation for Merit and Validity Level 0Given by teacher Not addressed or given by teacher Level 1Given by teacher Open to learner Not addressed or given by teacher Level 2Given by teacherOpen to learner Not addressed or given by teacher Level 3Open to learner Not addressed or given by teacher Level 4Open to learner Adopted from: Schwab, J. J. (1962). The teaching of science as enquiry. In J. J. Schwab & P. Brandwein (Eds.), The teaching of science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

14 SCIENCE THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY Students read aloud from texts. Students memorize long lists. Content presented in lectures. Tests require rote recall. Lab experiences merely confirm what students have read or been told. Goal of assessment is to grade students.

15 SCIENCE THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY

16 SCAFFOLDING INQUIRY There is a need to investigate the effectiveness of different approaches of inquiry to determine if there are more successful ways at increasing student learning of science and understanding of scientific research. It seems intuitive that students should learn more about science by doing science, but how they do science requires attending to learner needs, experience, and capabilities Nadelson, L. S. (2009). How True Inquiry Can Happen in K-16 Science Education? The Science Educator, 18 (1),

17 INQUIRY: AN APPROACH TO TEACHING AND LEARNING Questions posed by the students OR teacher. Student OR teacher provide methodology. Students are given data OR collect and analyze their own data. Students use evidence to build an explanation (with OR without guidance). Students communicate explanations using their own formats, OR formats and procedures that have been given to them. Students evaluated the credibility and validity of outcomes.

18 LEVELS OF INQUIRY Inquiry Level Source of the Question Data Collection Methods Interpretation of Results Evaluation for Merit and Validity Level 0Given by teacher Not addressed or given by teacher Level 1Given by teacher Open to learner Not addressed or given by teacher Level 2Given by teacherOpen to learner Not addressed or given by teacher Level 3Open to learner Not addressed or given by teacher Level 4Open to learner Adopted from: Schwab, J. J. (1962). The teaching of science as enquiry. In J. J. Schwab & P. Brandwein (Eds.), The teaching of science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

19 RESEARCH SHOWS: In a recent research project examining undergraduate laboratory texts that the publishers purported contained inquiry based exercises that over 90% were below classified below “Level 1 inquiry” Buck, L. B., Bretz, S. L. & Towns, M. H. (2008) Characterizing the level of inquiry in the undergraduate laboratory. Journal of College Science Teaching, 38(1),

20 INQUIRY LEARNING TAKES TIME Provide opportunity for students to first grapple with information relevant to a topic to create a meaningful time for telling. “... learning cannot be rushed; the complex cognitive activity of information integration requires time.”

21 CRITERIA FOR CLASSROOM INQUIRY The curriculum includes: involvement in hands-on activities or simulations formulation of questions making and checking predictions designing/carrying out investigations collecting, analyzing, and explaining data manipulating variables reporting results and comparing them with accepted facts developing scientific reasoning skills stimulating to increase engagement in learning

22 Problem Based Product emphasis Process emphasis Project-Based INQUIRY, PROBLEM BASE LEARNING AND PROJECT BASED LEARNING Inquiry Conceptual emphasis

23 INQUIRY, PROBLEM BASE LEARNING AND PROJECT BASED LEARNING

24 Meaningful Activity Engage students in problems that are designed to be realistic, intriguing, and relevant to the field of study. Provide context and stimulus for knowledge-building and critical thinking. Situated Learning Creates an environment that permits students to work on the kinds of problems that professionals encounter and to use the perspectives, the knowledge, and the skills that professionals use in attempting to solve them Changed Role of the Instructor Instructors act as metacognitive coaches throughout the inquiry process. They coach - giving students guidance as needed, but encouraging student independence in goal setting and decision-making. Give EXPLICIT and DETAILED expectations and facilitate REFELCTION INQUIRY STRUCTURE FOR TEACHING

25 Open-ended Generative Tasks Offer ill-structured, open-ended problem for which there is no prescribed approach or solution. Promote intentional learning by requiring student to generate their own questions, plans, and goals. Collaborative Decision-making and Problem-solving Require students to work together in their problem solving and product development. Students collaborate with each other and with more knowledgeable individuals who model expert behaviors and lend assistance as students try out skills on their own. INQUIRY STRUCTURE FOR TEACHING

26 It increases the likelihood of TRANSFER, a primary consideration in education. The literature on transfer suggests that transferable learning experiences occur in an environment characterized by: Meaningful activity Expert guidance Knowledge-building collaboration

27 INQUIRY STRUCTURE FOR TEACHING

28 It is engaging and, therefore, motivating. Berliner (1992) notes: Intertwined with the cognitive components associated with projects are the motivational components inherent in projects. These include the fact that projects teach students to be mastery-oriented, not ability-oriented; they teach students to be learning-oriented rather than performance-oriented; and they teach students to be task-involved rather than ego-involved…When there is some degree of choice for the students, project-based methods motivate students more than any other teaching method I know about. WHY USE INQUIRY IN LEARNING?

29 INQUIRY LEARNING FOR LIFE Case-based learning making schooling relevant to the workplace, careers and authentic research activities Most effective transfer comes from a balance of specific examples and general principles. School should be less about preparation for life and more like life itself. - John Dewey

30 CLOSING THOUGHTS – Inquiry and problem based learning is a great way to get students to think about how science works and how to think like a scientist – this must be taught explicitly and reflectively if students are going to learn the concepts and processes…. “The world is but a school of inquiry.” - Michel de Montaigne ( )

31 THANK YOU!


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