Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Inquiry: What & Why Follow-Up (NSTA Detroit & Denver)

Thanks to all of you who joined me for the sessions on the What and Why of Inquiry. I hope the connection between the changes in today's workforce helped you see better the rationale for adopting inquiry so that your students are ready for life in work in a global economy. Also, I hope the 5 Essential Features of inquiry helped you better understand what inquiry is and how to begin adopting it in your classroom. (If you'll clink the link embedded in the title of this post, it will take you directly to the chapter that describes the 5 Essential Features. Hope that helps.)

Please let me know any questions or comments you have about the presentation. I look forward to hearing from you and providing any additional resources that I can.


josh hubbard said...

Would you recommend starting at the beginning of a new year/semester with inquiry as a "curriculum" or would it be better to start pulling inquiry labs from other sources and putting those into the content now

Lee said...

I think taking small steps toward inquiry now is better than trying to adopt it all at once. Find an inquiry lab, especially one that uses guided inquiry, and try it out. It probably won't go perfectly, but it will give you some things to ponder as you think about the skills that your students (and you!) need to learn to make inquiry more effective. Then, you can try another inquiry and it will probably go a little better than the first one.

Also, take a look at the following site:


and see if that information helps you think through implementation. It gives several different levels on inquiry.

Josh Hubbard said...

What was your result when you did this type of curriculum in terms of content retained? Does doing inquiry lead to a lack of content which could put them at a disadvantage for the standardized testing that is now going to be much more prevelant

Lee said...

Yeah...content is always a concern. If you begin to take time to build student's skills for inquiry, there won't be as much time for you to cover content. Notice, though, that I said for YOU to cover content. I've learned that a lot of times when we teachers say, "I won't be able to cover as much content," that really doesn't have much at all to do with our students learning that content. We're covering it for sure, but that content is not in our students heads much more than a few minutes after the test that they crammed for.

Most of the standardized tests are changing so that they are focusing less on memorization of content. (The ACT is the most striking example of that.) Even if your students are heading toward a content heavy test, methods like inquiry are probably the better way to get them to assimilate large amounts of information. It's back to that coverage thing--even if i cover it, have they learned it?

Playing with HTML tags for the first time above. Here's the ACT information if that didn't work: The ACT is the most striking example. See http://www.act.org/standard/planact/science/index.html

Anonymous said...


I attended your session on Inquiry in Denver a couple of weeks ago and would appreciate a copy of the PowerPoint you used during your presentation. You can either email it to me at rlkslt@comccast.net or send a hard copy to my address:

Bob Kolenda
69 Ronald Dr.
Holland, PA 18966.

Thanks and have a Great Holiday Season,

Bob Kolenda