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Supporting Inquiry Donna Parker

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1 Supporting Inquiry Donna Parker
AP Environmental Science and Biology Educator Dublin Coffman High School, Dublin, Ohio Lab-Aids Consultant NBCT - AYA/Science

2 This presentation is adapted from materials originally developed by Mark Koker and Dick Duquin of the LAB-AIDS Professional Development Division, copyright LAB-AIDS (c) 2006 and used with permission. SEPUP materials are copyright (c) 2007 by the Regents of the University of California.

3 On learning….. “Learning science is something students do, not something that is done to them.” --National Science Education Standards

4 Journal Assignment In your journal, tell me what does inquiry mean to you? You may create a list or write in paragraph form. Give one (1) example in your classroom

5 Presentation Overview
Inquiry Quiz Best Practices Essential elements of inquiry Selected activity from SEPUP Rating lessons on inquiry The inquiry paradox

6 True or False…with reason
Science subject matter should be taught through inquiry. True inquiry occurs when students generate and pursue their own questions. Inquiry teaching occurs easily through the use of hands-on or kit-based instructional materials. Student engagement in hands-on activities guarantees that inquiry teaching and learning are occurring. Inquiry can be taught without attention to the subject matter.

7 Best Practices Most of us learn best through personal experience and by connecting new ideas to what we already know Students must have a chance to move from concrete to abstract ideas Inquiry is well-documented as an effective tool in science instruction Many effective teaching strategies are core elements of inquiry

8 Five Essential Features of Inquiry
Learners are engaged by scientifically oriented questions Learners give priority to evidence, which allows them to develop and evaluate explanations Learners formulate explanations from evidence to address scientifically oriented questions Learners connect explanations to scientific knowledge Learners communicate and justify their proposed explanations (Inquiry and the NSES)

9 Bored Yet? Just checking….

10 Let’s Get Busy Now… Brainstorm: Make a list of all the places you have used or come in contact with something using a battery this week. 30 seconds - ready, set, go….. 60 seconds - share with a friend and and one new thing to your list.

11 Challenge Which pair of metals produces the most energy?
Collect supporting evidence

12 Procedure To make the electrolyte in the plastic cup, add 4 packs of salt to 25 mL of water. Add 25 drops of hydrogen peroxide. Fill the SEPUP wet cell. Add two metal electrodes to the wet cell. Then rest is up to you to figure out but document what you do in your journal. Record your data in your journal as well.

13 Hey, stop…while you are playing
You must also create a list of questions that come to mind from this activity. Record this list in your journal. Let’s share evidence…… Now let’s play more…..

14 Your Next Task What is your question?
How are you going to answer your question? (a rough procedure w/variables, constants and a control) Data Conclusion Additional avenues to explore


16 Kid Speak It Remember….”Learning science is something students do; not something that is done to them. Learning inquiry is no exception so let’s do this in kid language. Take the blank chart and with your group turn the “educator language” into “kid language.”

17 Let’s Analyze in Kid Speak
Where did this activity start on the spectrum? How did we change it? Where did it end up on the spectrum? Keeping in mind this experience, go back to your original definition….what would you add?

18 Benefits of Inquiry Brings real world into the classroom
Promotes teamwork, collaboration Supports different learning styles Helps close “learning gaps” (especially for historically-underserved populations) Inquiry techniques can be used in all branches of science… Not to mention you get to torture students by making them THINK!!!!

19 Guided vs. Open Inquiry Experiences that vary in “openness” are needed to develop the inquiry abilities. Guided inquiry can best focus learning on the development of particular science concepts. More open inquiry will afford the best opportunities for cognitive development and scientific reasoning. Students should have opportunities to participate in all types of inquiries in the course of their science learning. Inquiry and the NSES (p 30)

20 Humor before we continue
Physical Science and Inquiry

21 One more…. Inquiry and Ag Science

22 So what? Who cares? Increasingly, decisions about the environment are made with public input, not made for us by our elected officials and their science advisors If our kids don’t know the science behind the issues, and understand the power and limits of what science can tell us (inquiry), they may fall victim to effective media-based campaigns We need decisions based on science, not slogans

23 Other rocks to turn over….
Lab manuals or textbooks used to pose questions and describe methods for investigations, so students can discover relationships Instructional materials are used to pose questions, but methods and answers left open for students to determine Students ask questions, gather evidence, and propose explanations based on their own investigations Students investigate details of research and reports of scientific research Inquiry & NSES (p 15–16)

24 The Inquiry “Checklist” For Students
Make initial obserations Pose (or respond to) researchable questions Formulate predictions or cause-and-effect hypotheses to test these research questions Plan procedures that identify relevant variables and produce data to test these research questions Collect, organize and display data Analyze data and craft tentative inferences to evaluate predictions or hypotheses

25 “Checklist” (continued)
Share ideas, results and inferences with a group that provides feedback on potential validity Revise, if necessary, the evaluation of data Reach a formal consensus on answers to the research questions From Leonard & Penick. “Is the Inquiry Real?”. The Science Teacher. Summer

26 Back to your journal…. Think of one activity you presently do (think about the previous slide). Write it down in your journal Where does this activity “fit” on our inquiry spectrum? Yes you have to write it down in your journal. How can you move it to the more student directed side? Think checklist and yes you have to write it down - you guys are worse than the kids!

27 The commitment You just made one….take this activity that you just changed to be more inquiry based and use it in your classroom! To complete the commitment, me and tell me how it went.

28 One last thing Go back to that original definition….how would you further change it? Write it down… Share it with a friend.

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