Generally speaking, inquiry based learning stands for the learning process in which not only facts are explained but where questions, problems and scenarios are presented to the pupils. This learning approach can include a wide range of activities, such as case studies, field-work, investigations or research projects, among others.
In particular, Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) involves the progressive development of scientific ideas through conducting own investigation while building knowledge and understanding the world around us. The rationale behind this approach is based on recognition that ideas are fully understood –and not only superficially known- if they are constructed by students’ through their own reflections regarding different experiences.
Some studies have proved that IBSE approaches have become very efficient in primary and secondary education as, at the same time it stimulates teachers’ interest, it increases the learners’ attainment levels. Moreover, the IBSE methodological technique can be combined with other educational deductive approaches. Students will learn scientific terms while being inspired to develop other scientific skills and learn to appreciate the daily routines of a scientist. Eventually they will be able to understand that the scientific method can be unsure (and that science does not always entail linear steps towards a specific goal) and can help them bring out their creativity and inquisitiveness.
In any IBSE approach, the teacher’s role is of utter importance as it is the person who needs to select and match the student’s tasks with the nature of the scientific knowledge to be learned.
- Why is Inquiry Based Education especially important when teaching STEM subjects?
- IBSE is a very flexible approach, in terms of implementation. There are plenty of different protocols and teachers’ strategies. Which is the set of activities you most employ (Data collection, etc.)?
- The teacher’s choice of topics and activities to perform through an IBSE approach will depend regarding on a particular national context (Regional or national curriculum, resources available, interest of the students, etc.). Which of those practicalities affect to your development of activities?
- Many teachers do not have a lot of experience when teaching through an IBSE approach. Which pedagogical opportunities/professional development is needed to develop their skills?
- There is a number of EC-FP7 projects promoting an IBSE approach (PROFILES, SAILS, Pathway, PRIMAS or Fibonacci, among others). If you are participating in one of them, tell us your personal experiences and what have you learned from them.
- Through your personal experiences, which are the skills most developed by students after applying an IBSE approach (Observation skills, posing of investigation questions, planning and designing investigation, reviewing evidence, developing conclusions, discussion of results etc.)?
- IBSE education provides a window to engage in relationships with stakeholders of formal and informal education such as researchers and scientists, firms, parents associations etc. Have you ever engaged in such a relationship? If so, tell us your experience and the advantages and disadvantages of such partnerships.
CHECK THE RESOURCES SHARED ON THIS TOPIC HERE
EXPERT OF THE WEEK