what is inquiry   

implementing inquiry   

concepts & processes   


evaluation & inquiry   

inquiry on the web   

Scientists utilize specific tools such as observation, experimentation, and communication for observing and explaining natural phenomena. They follow a logical order, starting with observations, identifying questions, implementing a set of procedures, and usually, finishing with formulating conclusions. Inquiry methods introduce students to these same skills. These instructional strategies teach students to do science as well as study the results of science.

Inquiry means dealing with concepts and concerns that confront humans every day. These concepts are not independent but are intertwined and multidisciplinary, providing students with a multitude of opportunities to become involved with science. Each concept includes one or more process that teachers must consider in the development of an effective science curriculum.

These concepts and their accompanying process(es) are as follows:

To be effective, science teachers must incorporate a healthy dose of each of the three concepts into every aspect of the curriculum, which requires attention to the processes that promote those concepts. These processes ensure that any science lesson or unit appeals to the curiosity of students and addresses the goals of the curriculum.

Science is for all students and learning science should be an active process. Inquiry is "hands-on" and "minds-on."

Science instruction must involve students in inquiry-based investigations. Students collaboratively interact with peers, teachers, and content through the concepts and processes of inquiry. During inquiry, students make connections between prior knowledge and new information gleaned from a variety of sources and experiences.

Granted, inquiry is recognized as a highly effective method for learning, no single approach is appropriate for all classroom situations. Teachers must select strategies and activities that consider the learning styles and needs of students as well as the content of instruction.

Students engage in problem solving, planning, decision making, discussions, and questioning. Additionally, they experience assessments consistent with an active approach to learning.


Copyright © 2005-