Essay by wld2rk May 2004

download word file, 27 pages 4.3

Downloaded 384 times


Definition of "inquiry"

The essence of the inquiry approach is to teach pupils to handle situations

Which they encounter when dealing with the physical world by using

Techniques, which are applied by, research scientists. Inquiry means that

Teachers design situations so that pupils are caused to employ procedures

Research scientists use to recognise problems, to ask questions, to apply

Investigational procedures, and to provide consistent descriptions,

Predictions, and explanations, which are compatible with shared experience

Of the physical world.

"Inquiry" is used deliberately in the context of an investigation in

Science and the approach to teaching science described here. "Enquiry" will

Be used to refer to all other questions, probes, surveys, or examinations

Of a general nature so that the terms will not be confused.

"Inquiry" should not be confused with "discovery". Discovery assumes a

Realist or logical positivist approach to the world, which is not

Necessarily present in "inquiry".

Inquiry tends to imply a constructionist

Approach to teaching science. Inquiry is open-ended and on going.

Discovery concentrates upon closure on some important process, fact,

Principle, or law, which is required by the science syllabus.

How to teach using an inquiry approach

There are a number of teaching strategies, which can be classified as

Inquiry. However, the approaches have a number of common aspects. The

Rationale for the inquiry approach has strong support from constructionist

Psychology. The teacher applies procedures so that:

(a) There is a primary emphasis on a hands-on, problem-centred approach;

(b) the focus lies with learning and applying appropriate

investigational or analytical strategies (This does not have anything to do

with the use of the so-called "scientific method".);

(c) memorising the "facts" of science which may arise is not as

important as development of an understanding of the manner of...