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 Math & Science Graduate Fellows in K-12 Education

Teaching with Inquiry:

Here you will find some definitions of what 'teaching with inquiry' means, links to science, math and inquiry standards, and some resources you may find helpful in designing and implementing inquiry educational opportunities.

Some definitions:

Scientific inquiry refers to the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Inquiry also refers to the activities of students in which they develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world. (National Science Education Standards, 1996)

Inquiry is a multifaceted activity that involves making observations; posing questions; examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating the results. Inquiry requires identification of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations. (National Science Education Standards, 1996). Useful resources for understanding the science perspective on inquiry:

BSCS (2006). Why does Inquiry matter? Because that’s what science is all about! Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. To see their table The Essential Features of Inquiry, click here

Science, Math & Inquiry Standards:

Minnesota's science, math and inquiry standards are very similar to the national science and math standards. Minnesota's "inquiry standards" are integrated in the "science standards" (sub-strand B of the "History and Nature of Science" strand). To read the background on how the MN Science Standards were developed and download a copy of the newly revised standards, click here. To read the background on how the MN Math Standards were developed and download a copy of the newly revised standards, click here.

Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning. National Research Council (2000).Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The National Research Council is currently working on a conceptual framework to guide the development of next generation standards for science education. This framework is the first step in a process for revising existing standards in K-12 science education which were published in 1996. Check out the link above to provide feedback or to follow this process as it moves along.

 

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