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Levels of Inquiry Helping teachers help students find their way through the maze of inquiry practices using differentiated instruction.

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Presentation on theme: "Levels of Inquiry Helping teachers help students find their way through the maze of inquiry practices using differentiated instruction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Levels of Inquiry Helping teachers help students find their way through the maze of inquiry practices using differentiated instruction.

2 Authentic Problem Solving  Problem-based learning  Failure analysis  Scientific experimentation  Technological design  Etc.

3 Each practice assumes…  That students know something about inquiry.  More sophisticated problem solving requires more sophisticated inquiry skills.  Lower ability levels of inquiry must be learned and practiced prior to employing higher levels.  Teachers must use instructional strategies appropriate to meeting the readiness levels of all students (differentiated instruction).

4 Sophisticated Inquiry Skills  Solving complex, real-world problems.  Establishing empirical laws  Synthesizing theoretical explanations  Analyzing and evaluating scientific arguments  Constructing logical proofs  Generating principles through induction  Generating predictions through deduction

5 Teaching Inquiry Practices  While inquiry is instinctive among children, their natural propensity is rather limited.  Authentic inquiry practices addressing real-world problems are many and complex.  How do we teach students to conduct inquiry at higher levels?  Assist with students’ metacognitive understanding of the inquiry process  Model and fade though a set of progressively more sophisticated inquiry practices

6 Metacognitive Understanding  Provide students with mental models.  Mental models:  are cognitive frameworks (e.g., road maps)  are alternative representations of complex patterns (e.g., rules of language)  provide for an understanding of the hierarchy and approaches of inquiry processes.  Hierarchy of levels can be used to deploy inquiry effectively.

7 Modeling Inquiry Practices  Start simple and move to the more complex.  There are many levels of inquiry:  Discovery learning  Interactive demonstrations  Inquiry lessons  Inquiry labs  Guided  Bounded  Free  Hypothesis development (pure and applied)

8 Discovery Learning   The most basic form of inquiry-based learning.   It is based on the “Aha!” approach.   A very guided approach to observation, pattern recognition, or conclusion.   Used with lower elementary school students.

9 Interactive Demonstrations  Teacher models investigatory processes  Teacher uses a think-aloud protocol to conduct demonstration (e.g., floating and sinking, defining and measuring buoyancy; finding it’s relationship with density, pinhole images, etc.).  Teacher probes for understanding, prediction, and explanation.

10 Inquiry Lessons  Teacher leads students through a simple experiment (e.g., Which variables affect buoyancy? How can we test this?)  Define problem  Define system  Identify and control variables  Teacher regularly speaks about nature of scientific inquiry.

11 Inquiry Laboratories  As opposed to cookbook labs (see handout for five major distinctions)  Levels of inquiry labs:  Guided - with lots of questions  Bounded - with teacher provided question only  Free - student guided from problem identification through experimental process.

12 Distinguishing Lab Types

13 Hypothesis development  Detailed explanation based upon substantial information  Source of buoyancy  Inverse-square law of light  How conservation accounts for kinematic laws  Why laws for parallel and series resistance hold  How Newton’s second law accounts for Bernoulli’s law of fluid flow

14 Levels differ by amount of:  Teacher/material guidance.  Decreases with higher levels of inquiry  Student independence.  Increases with higher levels of inquiry  Skills deployed.  Intellectual processes higher with level  Technology more sophisticated with level

15 Sophistication / Locus of Control

16 Inquiry & Intellectual Processes

17 Resources  Colburn, A. (2000). Science Scope, "An Inquiry Primer," March 2000  Herron, M.D. (1971). The nature of scientific enquiry. School Review, 79(2), (levels of inquiry)  Wenning, C. (2005). Levels of inquiry: Hierarchies of pedagogical practices and inquiry processes. Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online, 2(3), pp Levels of inquiry: Hierarchies of pedagogical practices and inquiry processesLevels of inquiry: Hierarchies of pedagogical practices and inquiry processes


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