Varying the Level of Inquiry in Science Lab Activities

Author: Lindsey Wilson

Introduction

As a science teacher I have read and participated in many things related to using inquiry in science class, but in reflecting back upon them, it seems 'inquiry' is treated in general terms. The focus of these 4 units is about understanding what inquiry is and then taking it a step further and discovering how inquiry can be varied in it's intensity or level. We will look at why inquiry based learning is beneficial for students and how it can take their understanding of science in labs a step further than traditional labs. We will begin with a basic investigation into what inquiry based learning is and then break it down into various levels. Also you will reflect using your own classroom and experiences to understand how varied levels of inquiry in your science labs/activities can be beneficial. Overall you will receive an overview of how to vary the levels of inquiry in science labs and throughout your teaching, it may be useful to revisit units to help you adjust your lessons and labs to see what works and what doesn't work for your classroom.


Unit 1

Understanding what Inquiry Based Learning Is

Learners will gain an understanding of what inquiry based learning is and begin to investigate why it can be beneficial in your classroom

Unit 2

Identifying the Components of Inquiry in laboratory activities

Learners will be able to identify the main components of inquiry learning in lab activities and how the level of inquiry can be varied based on the need of students and activity

Unit 3

Designing an Inquiry Based Lab with varying levels of inquiry

Learners will be able to integrate different levels of inquiry activities into their current lesson plans and also future lesson plans

Unit 4

Reflection and Evaluation

Learners will be able to reflect back upon the implementation of the varied level of inquiry activities and see strengths and weaknesses


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