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Inquiry Approach in Science Classrooms:

Using Inquiry-Based curriculum to increase personalization and academic rigor in middle school science classrooms ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Inquiry Approach in Science Classrooms

What is the Inquiry Approach?:

What is the Inquiry Approach? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Inquiry is defined as “seeking truth, information, or knowledge.” Typically done through thoughtful questioning which is essential to critical scientific processes. Inquiry approach emphasizes self-directed exploration, experimentation and group work.

What was your experience?:

What was your experience? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis What was your attitude towards science class in middle school? Did your science class engage in: Open ended experiments? Small group thought exercises? Self-directed research?

What was your experience?:

What was your experience? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Or did your science class, like many others, involve: Reading a textbook Answering short questions Memorizing facts Taking tests

Is America a nation of scientists?:

Is America a nation of scientists? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis According to the Third International Science and Mathematics Study (2003/2007): America scored 17 th globally in science- we were beaten by Slovenia and the Czech Republic and Estonia. In physical science (chemistry and physics), the US scored dead last of all the countries in the study. As of 2001, 38% of all jobs requiring a PhD in science were held by people born abroad, up 15% since 1990 In 2003, just 26% of students taking the ACT scored high enough on the science section to be likely to complete a first-year college science course

What are students saying about science?:

What are students saying about science? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Middle school students express more negative attitudes about science than both elementary and high school students. (Greenfield, 1997) Students are less likely to believe that science improves people’s lives or that studying science will equip them to contribute to society. (Gilroy, 2002) The one question every teacher hates to hear: “When am I ever going to need to know this?”

What makes us think the inquiry approach will work better?:

What makes us think the inquiry approach will work better? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Students who participated in inquiry-based curriculum scored an average of 20% higher on targeted knowledge tests than students in conventional curriculums. (Marx, 2004) Students in inquiry-based curriculums developed better attitudes towards science and maintained those positive attitudes over time, making them more likely to study science in college. (Gibson 2002)

Is inquiry based curriculum academically rigorous?:

Is inquiry based curriculum academically rigorous? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Inquiry-based science curriculum demands more of students than memorizing facts and regurgitating them on tests. How do you learn best? By reading about a topic? By doing an activity designed to illustrate a concept? By explaining a topic to others? By working with a group to solve a problem? By researching a topic of interest and presenting your findings? By devising an experiment to answer a question?

Is inquiry based curriculum academically rigorous?:

ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Is inquiry based curriculum academically rigorous?

How does inquiry-based science curriculum uphold the values of BRIM?:

How does inquiry-based science curriculum uphold the values of BRIM? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Hands-on inquiry tasks provide multi-modal learning opportunities for students with different needs Self directed research allows student to concentrate on topics that interest them most, increasing personalization Higher-order thinking tasks promote long-term retention

But… what does the inquiry approach look like?:

But… what does the inquiry approach look like? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Let’s find out!

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ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis

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ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis

What’s the big picture?:

What’s the big picture? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis America is falling behind in science education because our teaching methods rely on rote memorization. The inquiry approach relies on higher order thinking tasks like experimentation, problem solving, and research. Inquiry-based science curriculums increase: Student’s attitudes regarding science Student performance on testing measures Opportunities for different kinds of learners

Where did we find this stuff?:

Where did we find this stuff? ELD-360, Fall 2010 Rebecca Erickson and Jayme Francis Eick , Charles J., Michael Dias, and Nancy R. Cook Smith. "Middle School Students' Conceptual Learning from the Implementation of a New NSF Supported Curriculum: Interactions in Physical Science." School Science and Mathematics 109.1 (2009). Print. Gibson, Helen L., and Christopher Chase. "Longitudinal Impact of an Inquiry-based Science Program on Middle School Students' Attitudes toward Science." Science Education 86.5 (2002): 693-705. Web. Marx, Ronald W., Phyllis C. Blumenfeld , Joseph S. Krajcik , Barry Fishman, Elliot Soloway , Robert Grier, and Revital Tali Tal. "Inquiry-based Science in the Middle Grades: Assesing Learning in Urban Systematic Reform." Journal of Research in Science Teaching 41.10 (2004): 1063-080. Print. Gilroy, M. (2002).Waking up students: math/science attitudes and achievement. Education Digest. 68(4), 39.

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