Inquiry Based Science
What is Science Workshop?
Science Workshop is an inquiry-based approach to teaching
Science in grade K-5.
is inquiry-based Science?
Inquiry-based Science is rooted in the fact that
student-based investigation leads to deeper understanding
and greater transfer to knowledge than does simply reading
content information or observing teacher demonstrations. It
is driven by questions. These questions come out of initial
exploration/ observations and are teacher facilitated or
originate from the students. The essential element of
inquiry-based Science is that it is infused with and
inspired by a “discovery approach” to learning.
inquiry-based Science mean never giving the student answers
and never discussing concepts?
the main goal of instruction is to help students develop an
understanding of the subject area. Decisions about how to
respond to student’s questions or whether or not to pursue
an inquiry-based lesson depends on the teacher’s goals and
the context of the discussion at hand. Teachers should use
different strategies to develop the knowledge,
understandings and abilities described in the content and
performance standards. A balance must be struck, not only
in the name of good overall instruction, but also in regards
to the realities of time.
is the relationship between inquiry-based Science and the
scientific method remains the backbone of all scientific
investigation, but inquiry-based instruction takes student
discovery a step further. Inquiry-based instruction focuses
on cognitive abilities that go beyond the process skills
normally associated with the scientific method. The basis
for moving away from the traditional process approach is to
encourage students to participate in the evaluation of
is the student’s role in scientific inquiry?
the depth and complexity of roles increase with each grade
level, the basic goals are the same:
Ask a question
about objects, organisms and events in the environment
Plan and conduct
a simple investigation
equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses
Use data to
construct a reasonable explanation
investigations and explanations
are the essential features of classroom inquiry?
engaged by scientifically oriented questions
priority to evidence, which allows them to develop and
evaluate explanations that address scientifically oriented
formulate explanations from evidence to address
scientifically oriented questions
their explanations in light of alternative explanations,
particularly those reflecting scientific understanding
communicate and justify their proposed explanations
is the learning cycle?
learning cycle is an inquiry-based teaching model. The
purpose of the learning cycle is to develop learning
situations that provide students with concrete experiences
prior to the introduction of vocabulary or concepts. After
students have been guided to construct the intended
concepts, they apply their new knowledge to new situations.
This allows them to generalize their learning and reinforces
the newly developed mental structures.
use a learning cycle?
the learning cycle students learn through concrete
experiences. Students are given a common experience from
which concepts are developed. They develop thinking
skills. They generalize their learning to new situations,
and they share the responsibility for learning.
are the phases of the learning cycles?
learning cycle includes the Exploration Phase, Concept
Development Phase and the Concept Application Phase.
Exploration presents students with a problem that requires
them to use process skills to gather and organize data.
Concept Development focuses on patterns that the students
find in the data they have collected and in the observations
they have made. Concept Application requires students to
explore in more depth through additional experimentation
and/or discussion. It is a cyclical model allowing students
to move from one phase to another at any point.
is the inquiry-based problem solving model?
are five E’s of instructional problem solving in
inquiry-base Science: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate,
and Evaluate. Engage and Explore fall under the Exploration
Phase of the learning cycle. Explain falls under the
Concept Development Phase. Elaborate and Evaluate fall
under the Concept Application Phase. This is also a