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Inquiry-Based Activities

Inquiry-Based Activities

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Inquiry-Based Activities

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  1. Inquiry-Based Activities

  2. What is inquiry?

  3. What is inquiry? • Please take the inquiry survey. • When you are done, at the bottom of the sheet, jot down a few thoughts on what you think inquiry really means.

  4. What is inquiry? Simplest definition – any activity that does the following: • Generates question or problem to be solved. • Causes selection of a course of action and carrying out procedures of investigation. • Results in gathering and recording data through observation and instrumentation in order to draw appropriate conclusions. --D. Llewellyn, 2002

  5. What is inquiry? Simplest definition – any activity that does the following: • Generates question or problem to be solved. • Causes selection of a course of action and carrying out procedures of investigation. • Results in gathering and recording data through observation and instrumentation in order to draw appropriate conclusions. --D. Llewellyn, 2002 Short version: Generates a question, a plan and a conclusion.

  6. The Chicken or The Egg Which comes first? • The observation? or • The question? (How, why, what if?)

  7. The Chicken or The Egg Which comes first? • The observation? or • The question? (How, why, what if?) Both in real science so the question is irrelevant.

  8. What does inquiry do for you? • Skill building. • Which skills? • In groups of two or three, develop a short list of skills good scientists might possess. Record these in your notes.

  9. Science Process Skills

  10. Which skills does inquiry help build?

  11. Studies show that inquiry-based activities build the following skills: 1. Confidence– can get the answer 2. Tolerance of ambiguity 3. Helps form habit of lifelong learning 4. Enhances “skills of diagnosis” such as • Speculation • Hypothesis testing • Evaluation 5. Develops higher order thinking skills (Think Bloom’s Taxonomy.)

  12. OK... Remind me of the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy...

  13. OK... Remind me of the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy... • A way of organizing thinking skills into levels of increasing complexity. • Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation

  14. How does Inquiry do all this? True or False: Children learn like sponges, soaking up knowledge like water.

  15. How does Inquiry do all this? True or False: Children learn like sponges, soaking up knowledge as if it were water. FALSE

  16. How does Inquiry do all this? • Brain-based studies show they are very discriminating. They build theories and throw away the ones that “don’t fit.” This includes ones that are simply uncomfortable but correct!! • Students prefer to “test” their theories vs. peers and to see if the new belief matches previously held beliefs. Students need both!

  17. How does Inquiry do all this? • The short answer is that Inquiry works because it more closely reflects how the human brain actually learns. • This is called constructivism.

  18. Constructivism • The education theory that addresses the fact that knowledge is built by the student according to prior experience and understanding. • Knowledge is not transmitted from one person to another. It is constructed in the mind of the learner attempting to make linkages between what is already known and to test the “degree of fit” between that knowledge and the new information coming in. • Remember: New knowledge is ALWAYS suspect.

  19. Dead White Guys: John Dewey • (1859-1952) First American constructivist who believed that learning and experience go handin hand and knowledge comes from a personal interaction between the learner and his or her environment. • Believed that most activities presented to students too often involve the interests of the teacher and not the student. • He also advocated outdoor learning.

  20. Dead White Guys: Jean Piaget(1896-1980) Piaget’s theories have four key ideas • People develop through stages of cognitive growth. • Knowledge results from the changing social interactions between the learner and the environment. • Knowledge is constantly being constructed and reconstructed from previous and new experiences. • Cognition is self-regulating. (Huh? This means that people are continually testing what they know vs. what is happening around them.)

  21. Dead White Guys: Lev Vygotsky • (1896-1934) Russian constructivist who believed that language and social interaction were extremely important in developing knowledge. • Without peers and teachers modeling and providing support, students will “take fewer chances.” • Modern equivalent is “scaffolding.”

  22. Dead White Guys: Lev Vygotsky • Scaffolding: an activity that requires skills just beyond the learner’s current abilities as an individual but that can be accomplished in a group or with support from the teacher. • For example, the fruit density demo. The students will need to know how to use the balance.

  23. Less Dead White Guy: David Ausubel • Believed that without linkages to prior knowledge, retention suffers. • Chinese proverb: Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, let me do it and I understand. • “The single most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows; ascertain this, and teach him accordingly.” (Ausubel, 1978)

  24. The Learning Cycle: The Five E’s From all of these studies, the learning cycle was developed: • Engagement -- The “hook” also links to prior knowledge • Exploration -- Pose Q’s and take data • Explanation -- Concept development and communication • Extension -- Apply to real world, predict and phase 2 exploration • Evaluation -- Closure and assessment

  25. Hints on How to Convert Pre-Made Materials to Inquiry-based Activities • Use the rubric for assessing inquiry-based activities from the Science Scope article on your selected materials (i.e. find its weaknesses). • Turn those weaknesses into strengths by converting the activities that are convergent (one correct answer, closed) to divergent (many correct answers, open).

  26. Hints on How to Convert Pre-Made Materials to Inquiry-based Activities For example, change the following... • How many? Define... List... Outline the evidence... ... to something like this... • Design an experiment... Predict... How would you support this view... How would you solve...

  27. The Q-M-S Strategy Q is for question or problem M is for means or how the plan will be carried out S is for the solution • Convert one, two or all three to open-ended. Doing it one at a time helps train the students and wean them from demanding that you just “Tell me the answer!” • See the handout.

  28. Cookbook Lab Activity • Now, take the example “cookbook” lab handed out in class and in your groups, devise at least THREE ways of converting the lab to a more inquiry-based activity. • Order your three activities from least open to most open. • When time is called, we will share everyone’s ideas.

  29. Some examples I thought of... • Do a pre-lab assessment and link the lab to what the students already know and care about. • Do the lab before teaching the unit not at the end. • Revise or delete the Q section entirely. • Revise or delete the materials list entirely. • Remove the safety rules and ask that the students put them back in.

  30. Some examples I thought of... • Delete the procedure section and have the students design the procedure. • Add procedural errors (i.e. no control) and ask them to correct it first. • Take away the data table or chart and have them determine what data they should be gathering and why. • Have them present their results using a different format (poster, poem, artwork, rap, dance etc.) • Include an extension or “Going Further” section where the students are required to pose new Q’s.

  31. Superior Inquiry-Based Lesson Plans Should Include 1. Collaborative learning strategies. 2. EEEPs or Exciting Examples of Everyday Phenomena. (Constructivism component.) 3. Fuzzy situations that require thought and engage students in actively examining the social implications of science. 4. Active learning strategies that include an experimental or observational component. 5. Alignments to science content standards. • Long term, project-based components for examining change over time or how changing variables alters the results. • An assessment strategy that corresponds appropriately to the activities the students engage in.

  32. What’s an EEEP? • EEEPs or Exciting Examples of Everyday Phenomena. • A.K.A. “the hook” or a discrepant event. • It is directly based on the concept being addressed for that day. • The point is to engage the student, pique their curiosity and to relate it to something they already know to aid in retention.

  33. Concept: physical weathering • Have students soak some sandstone samples in water and then freeze half of them overnight. • Have the students notice the differences. (i.e. that the water froze, expanded and cracked the rock.)

  34. How do I get started? • Start with a standard. • What do you want to know? (Guiding question) • What do you want the students to know how to do? (Process NOT content.) • How do you make your concept inquiry-based? • Discrepant events. • Use Inquiry Cycle if you want. • Brainstorm “what if” questions both on your own and with your students. • Devise assessment strategy upfront.

  35. Discrepant Event Example • Working with a partner, fill out the worksheet that is provided for you for one of the EEEPs or Discrepant event examples.

  36. Discrepant Event Example Questions: • Prediction: What do you think will happen? • Observation and data: What did you observe? • Explanation: Describe what you think happened in words and pictures. • Extension: Write down at least one follow-up question you have about the event. • Acknowledgement: Have all your group members sign-off on your report.

  37. Discrepant Events • Good book reference: Invitations to Science Inquiry by Tik Liem. • Expensive but useful. ($54 direct, $88 from Amazon. The supplement is ok.) • http://tiger.coe.missouri.edu/~pgermann/DiscEvent/index.html • http://www.mcrel.org/whelmers/index.asp • http://bcramond.myweb.uga.edu/home/DiscrepantEvents.htm • http://www.csun.edu/science/courses/695b/projects/discrepant_events/index.htm

  38. Inquiry Cycle

  39. Example: Density David Letterman: “Will it sink or will it float?”

  40. How do I assess the activity? • Rubric for assessing one’s own lesson plans:http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/credit-d.html • Article from Science Scope (NSTA) on rubrics for Inquiry-based Activities: www.nsta.org/main/news/pdf/ss0209_22.pdf

  41. How do I assess the students? • Assessment should flow directly from the content and skills listed at the beginning of the development of the activity. (Backwards planning.) • Rubrics should be made in advance. • Density example continued.

  42. When do you assess Inquiry?

  43. When do you assess Inquiry? • Pre-instruction • During Instruction • Post-instruction

  44. When do you assess Inquiry? • Pre-instruction • During Instruction • Post-instruction Why?

  45. When do you assess Inquiry? • Pre-instruction Goal: Assess students’ prior knowledge, ideas, beliefs and attitudes in order to help them construct new knowledge.

  46. When do you assess Inquiry? • Pre-instruction Strategies: ?

  47. When do you assess Inquiry? • Pre-instruction Strategies: T-charts, journal writing, drawings, interviews/conversations, surveys, concept maps

  48. When do you assess Inquiry? • During instruction Goal:

  49. When do you assess Inquiry? • During instruction Goal: To gain insight into how (or if) students’ knowledge, ideas, beliefs and attitudes are changing.

  50. When do you assess Inquiry? • During instruction Strategies: ?