The Data Sets and Inquiry in Geoscience Education Project: Model Curricula for Teacher Capacity Building in Scientific Inquiry Tasks with Geospatial Data



The NSF-funded Data Sets and Inquiry in Geoscience Education project (DIGS) developed a set of curriculum modules comprising units and assessments in which students use real geospatial visualizations and data sets to conduct extended inquiry on plate tectonics and local climate change. As befits the differences in research on the two topics, the modules present data-centered inquiry tasks that vary in the amounts of structure inherent in the problems the students are asked to solve. Yet, both modules use presorted authentic data, lead students through scripted yet open-ended investigations, and provide implementation supports through scoring guides, teacher directions, and all-inclusive student and teacher Web access to the materials. This chapter describes how the modules have educative value for teachers by exemplifying contrasting curriculum models for data-based inquiry, by showing how driving purposes that stimulate student thinking and expression can be articulated, and by showing how scaffolding can be strategically employed to enable successful student inquiry.


Curriculum development Visualizations Data-based inquiry Geoscience 



 This article is based on the assessment and curriculum research and methods developed by Edys Quellmalz, who served as Principal Investigator from September 2005 to June 2007; Daniel Zalles, Co-principal Investigator from September 2005 to June 2007 and then Principal Investigator from June to October 2007; Janice, Co-principal Investigator; and Amy Pallant, curriculum developer on the Data Sets and Inquiry in Geoscience Education project (NSF-GEO# 0507828; Quellmalz & Zalles, 2002).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Concord ConsortiumConcordUSA

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