The Fundamentals of Inquiry workshop is organized into the following three sections that illuminate the fundamentals of inquiry-based teaching and learning. Throughout the workshop, participants have reflective conversations that allow them to see into the professional-development design process—from the design of each individual activity to the overall structure of the workshop.
Elements of Inquiry
The experiences in this section focus on hands-on approaches and scientific practices related to inquiry learning.
- Discover that different approaches to hands-on teaching support different goals for learning.
- Identify the tools—the scientific practices—needed to carry out inquiry, which include asking questions, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, and arguing from evidence.
- Put these scientific practices into action and examine their roles in learning.
- Examine the kinds of questions learners ask about phenomena and find out how to turn “non- investigable” questions into “investigable” ones.
Immersion in Inquiry
Plan and conduct an investigation that illustrates how science content and science practices can be learned through a carefully orchestrated inquiry process. At the same time, the activity illuminates the process of inquiry itself. Explore questions that are fundamental to designing an inquiry experience, including:
- What are good starting points for investigations?
- What roles do materials play?
- How is inquiry learning best facilitated?
- How can conceptual understanding be developed through inquiry?
Connections to the Classroom
Make connections between workshop experiences and how current classroom activities can be modified to incorporate more science inquiry and science practices.