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What Is Inquiry-Based Science Teaching and Learning?

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Professional Development for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching and Learning

Abstract

Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) has been proposed as a framework for conceptualizing the priorities and values of authentic science teaching and learning. The main features of this framework include active pupil engagement in the learning process with emphasis on supporting knowledge claims with observations, experiences or complementary sources of credible evidence; tackling of authentic and problem-based learning activities; consistent practice and development of the skills of systematic observation, questioning, planning and recording with a purpose to obtain credible evidence; committed participation in collaborative group work, peer interaction, construction of discursive argumentation and communication with others as the main process of learning; and the development of autonomy and self-regulation through experience as important goals of learning. IBSE has also been misconstrued as a teaching method for better engaging students or as scaffolding structure for designing learning environments. In this chapter, we will first elaborate on these distinctions and will discuss the implications for science education reform. We will present an overview of the educational policy priorities that have been formulated at European level for IBST/L, and we will discuss the opportunities and constraints that these efforts have generated for science education and science teacher professional development across European contexts. The chapter provides a framing text for the case studies in the remainder of the book. As such, it identifies issues and sets the tone for what follows, alerting the reader to both the problematics and the unavoidable complexity that emerge from efforts to highlight broad educational objectives at a level that is far removed from student and teacher experience as well as local societal priorities.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Open and guided inquiry can be also defined as: “Guided-inquiry laboratories are experiments in which students follow experimental directions, gather data on certain specified variables, and through the analysis process establish relationships among the variables from their own data. Open-inquiry laboratories are experiments in which students design and perform their own procedures to investigate a question. Open-inquiry laboratories apply the relationships previously developed via guided-inquiry activities in a new setting or examine a new aspect of that relationship” (Chatterjee, Williamson, McCann, & Peck, 2009).

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Constantinou, C.P., Tsivitanidou, O.E., Rybska, E. (2018). What Is Inquiry-Based Science Teaching and Learning?. In: Tsivitanidou, O., Gray, P., Rybska, E., Louca, L., Constantinou, C. (eds) Professional Development for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching and Learning. Contributions from Science Education Research, vol 5. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-91406-0_1

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