Dr. Richard Konicek-Moran
Educator, Biologist, Author

Dr. Richard Konicek-Moran, Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Consultant in Inquiry based Learning
dr. Konicek-Moran provides consulting in science education to teachers, principals, and superintendents on how to institute inquiry-based learning, using his book Everyday Science Mysteries.

For information on these services, please contact Dick here
Inquiry based Learning is…

There is probably no one definition of “teaching for inquiry” or “inquiry based learning” but there are several authorities that are considered the major sources for defining this term. Almost all state standards are based on two sources, The National Science Education Standards produced by the National Research Council (NRC, 1993) and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (AAAS, 1996)

The NRC document says that there are five essentials that must occur for real inquiry based learning to take place in the classroom. They are:

• The learner engages in scientifically oriented questions.
• The learner gives priority to evidence in responding to questions.
• The learner formulates explanations from evidence.
• The learner connects explanations to scientific knowledge
• The learner communicates and justifies explanations.

In other words, the NRC encourages teachers to allow their students to be more self-directed, meaning less direction from the teacher, as time goes on during the school year.

It seems implicit that in order for the learners to do real inquiry based learning in their classrooms, they should be involved in problem solving where the problems are meaningful to them and come from their everyday lives whenever possible.

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