Teaching the Carbon Cycle Using IBL in the Secondary Schools

  • Francesca UgoliniEmail author
  • Luciano Massetti


Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is a didactic approach that stimulates pupils to experiment, observe, and investigate, to answer the questions on phenomena and find problem solutions. In certain countries the approach is widely and ordinarily used in science teaching while in other contexts the use of textbooks is still rooted as traditional teaching method. IBL can be applied even through a variety of learning models which include knowledge-building, learning by design, and computer simulation. In this chapter the application of the 5E Instructional Model developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study in the context of 30 secondary schools of Tuscany region, Italy, is described.

The model was applied as a learning tool for the production of didactic modules on environmental issues and thematics, among which the carbon cycle.

The model is structured in five steps characterized by different activities in order to stimulate the active participation of the pupils. Pupils involved in the module on carbon cycle were engaged with games, practical experiences during which they analyzed and interpreted real data. The module was highly appreciated by both target groups of teachers and pupils although it was out of the ordinary work and in some classes it was limited by the time restriction.


Inquiry-based learning Education Science Climate change Science teaching 



The project Acariss was funded by Tuscany Region, PAR-FAS funding, Action Line 1.1.a.3.

We thank the students and the teachers which collaborated to the module. Teachers: Baldocci V. (ITAS, Firenze), Barbetti V. (Scuola Media Primo Levi, Prato), Bettarini I. (Liceo Scientifico Castelnuovo, Firenze), Giorgi G. (Istituto Tecnico Giotto Ulivi, Firenzuola), Pecchioli A., and Russi P. (Liceo Scientifico Niccolò Copernico, Prato) during scholar year 2011–2012. We would like to thank also technical staffs Mario Lanini and Giacomo Tagliaferri (Institute of Biometeorology) for the maintenance and functioning of devices.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biometeorology-National Reseach CouncilFlorenceItaly

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