Inquiry Descriptions

IFI Book

Inquiry Bibliography

Inquiry Education Information for the Classroom


Inquiry Education for Teacher Workshops

Inquiry Education Research

Museum Education

Inquiry Websites

Other Publications and Websites of Interest





Inquiry Education Information for the Classroom


NewConnect Magazine, Vol. 13. Issue 4, March/April 2000
Connect Magazine
is a journal supporting inquiry-based teaching and learning. Featured in this issue of Connect are six case studies of science inquiry in the elementary classroom written by teachers participating in the Institute for Inquiry Teacher Learning Group. Each article explores some critical aspect of inquiry. Connect Magazineis published by Synergy Learning International, Inc.

Balch, Carolyn (Schmidt)
"What I Learned in School." Connect, vol. 9 no. 5, pp. 1-3, May-June 1996.
Abstract: This article chronicles what I learned during a field-testing about how kids learn and what they think about fundamental concepts important to flight (gravity, air pressure, weightlessness, etc.). It's more broadly constructivist (on getting inside kids' heads) and less focused on inquiry per se.)

Bateman, Walter L.
"Why Don't They Take Notes?" Chapter 1 of Open to Question: The Art of Teaching and Learning by Inquiry. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990, pp. 3-14.
Abstract: A record of an exchange of letters between the author and a (presumably) new college teacher. Topics covered include the qualities of a "good teacher".

Brooks, Jacqueline Grennon
"Teachers and Students: Constructivists Forging New Connections." Educational Leadership; v47 n2, pp. 68-71, Feb 1990.
Abstract: As constructivists, teachers strike the delicate balance between teaching for fact and skill acquisition and teaching for independent and expert thinking.

Bruer, John T.
"Applying What We Know in Our Schools: A New Theory of Learning." Chapter 1 of Schools for Thought: A Science of Learning in the Classroom. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993, pp. 1-18.
Abstract: If we want to improve America's schools, we will have to apply in the classroom what we know about humans as intelligent, learning, thinking creatures.

Colburn, Alan
"How to make lab activities more open ended." CSTA Journal, Fall 1997, pp. 4-6.
Abstract: When your students do laboratory activities, are they simply following directions, asking whether they are getting the "right answers," and not really learning much from the experience? Are you bored reading a hundred identical lab reports?

Duckworth, Eleanor.
Inventing Density
Grand Forks, ND: North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation,1986.
Abstract: "This is a story about the collective creation of knowledge: its multiple beginnings; its movement forward, backwards, sidewards; its intertwining pathways. The setting is a course in the educational psychology of science teaching, at the University of Geneva." (author)

Elstgeest, Jos
"The Right Question at the Right Time". Chapter 4 of Primary Science...taking the plunge: How to teach primary science more effectively. Edited by Wynne Harlen. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational, 1985, pp. 36-46..
Abstract: A question already has within it the kind of answer that can be given, even before it is spoken. There are many kinds of questions and their varying effect on children is striking.

Gega, Peter.
"How to Use Closed-Ended and Open-Ended Activities". Chapter 3 of Science in Elementary Education by Peter Gega. 7th edition. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, Inc., 1994, pp. 50-69.
Abstract: Children can learn science in several ways. But generally the most effective way is through hands-on activities. This chapter concentrates on two basic kinds of hands-on activities, closed-ended and open-ended.

Harlen, Wynne.
"Helping Children to Plan Investigations". Chapter 6 of Primary Science...taking the plunge: How to teach primary science more effectively. Edited by Wynne Harlen. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational, 1985, pp. 58-74.
Abstract: Planning skills give children the power to put their own and others' ideas to the test in a scientific way; so they play a central role in developing concepts.

"Inquiry Based Science: What Does It Look Like?" Connect Magazine, March-April 1995, p. 13.
Abstract: To help in answering this question, teachers and administrators participating in the Vermont Elementary Science Project observed and discussed the actions of students engaged in hands-on, minds-on science exploration. Then they created this, "On the Run Reference Guide to the Nature of Elementary Science for the student".

Rossman, Alan D.
"Managing Hands-On Inquiry." Science and Children, pp. 35-37, Sept. 1993.
Abstract: Encourages teachers to use hands-on, inquiry experiences to teach science. Describes the perceived risks of using hands-on inquiry and how to manage those risks.

Stepien, William; Gallagher, Shelagh
"Problem-Based Learning: As Authentic as It Gets."
Educational Leadership; v50 n7, pp. 25-28, Apr 1993.
Abstract: For three years, the Center for Problem-Based Learning at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy has been developing innovative programs in various K-12 settings. Students meet an "ill-structured problem" (like thorium waste) before receiving instruction. Teachers act as coaches and tutors, probing findings, hypotheses, and conclusions; sharing their thinking when students need a model; and calling "time-out" discussions on thinking progress.

Watson, Bruce and Richard Kopnicek.
"Teaching for Conceptual Change: Confronting Children's Experience"
Phi Delta Kappan
pp. 680-684, May 1990.
Abstract: Overcoming children's misconceptions can be a challenge in the classroom. The author suggests that a better understanding of the social aspects of learning, how students use their conceptual understandings outside the classroom, and how their experiences grow into scientific models that they find satisfactory will help teachers better understand their role.

Wolf, Dennis Palmer
"The Art of Questioning."
Academic Connections; pp. 1-7, Winter 1987.
Abstract: This article was originally a talk delivered at the Summer Institute of the College Boards Educational Equality Project, held in Santa Cruz, California, July 9-13, 1986. At the institute more than one hundred high school and college teachers convened to consider how concerns raised by the education reform movement can be translated into improvements in everyday teaching practice. One topic given particularly close attention was that of questioning in the classroom. Dennie Wolfs remarks provided the keynote for these deliberations, and the version of her talk presented here has been expanded slightly to take into account questions raised by institute participants.



Inquiry Resources

Inquiry Descriptions / IFI Book / Inquiry Bibliography / Inquiry Education Information for the Classroom / Inquiry Education for Teacher Workshops /
Inquiry Education Research / Museum Education / Inquiry Websites /
Other Publications and Websites of Interest

Institute for Inquiry Home

© 2000 Exploratorium 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123