Most important to being a good science teacher is holding the expectation that all students can be scientists and think critically. Providing a thinking curriculum is especially important for those children in diverse classrooms who have been underserved by our educational system.
— Becoming Scientists
Good science starts with a question, perhaps from the teacher at the start of a science unit or from the children as they wonder what makes a toy car move, how food decomposes, or why leaves change color. Using inquiry science, children discover answers to their questions in the same way that scientists do—they design experiments, make predictions, observe and describe, offer and test explanations, and share their conjectures with others. In essence, they construct their own understanding of how the world works through experimentation, reflection, and discussion.
Look into real classrooms where teachers practice inquiry science and engage students in the science and engineering practices outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. Rusty Bresser and Sharon Fargason show teachers how to do the following:
- Build on students' varied experiences, background knowledge, and readiness
- Respond to the needs of students with varying levels of English language proficiency
- Manage a diverse classroom during inquiry science exploration
- Facilitate science discussions
- Deepen their own science content knowledge
As the authors state, "Inquiry science has little to do with textbooks and lectures and everything to do with our inherent need as a species to learn about and reflect on the world around us." Join your students on a journey of discovery as you explore your world via inquiry.