Inquiry in Biology
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Inquiry in Biology for Secondary Schools Evelyn Teo. 31 May – 2 June 2010. Content Overview. Requirements of Secondary Science Curriculum What is Science Inquiry? Approaches to Science Inquiry BSCS 5E Instructional Model Strategies for Inquiry-based Learning and Teaching

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Inquiry in Biology for Secondary Schools Evelyn Teo

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Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Inquiry in Biology

for Secondary Schools

Evelyn Teo

31 May – 2 June 2010


Content overview

Content Overview

Requirements of Secondary Science Curriculum

What is Science Inquiry?

Approaches to Science Inquiry

BSCS 5E Instructional Model

Strategies for Inquiry-based Learning and Teaching

Frequently Asked Questions about Inquiry

Classroom Case Studies


What is inquiry based learning

What is inquiry-based learning?

“Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand”

  • Joe Exline


What is inquiry based learning1

What is inquiry-based learning?

  • Inquiry

  • Seeking for truth, information or knowledge

  • Seeking information by questioning

  • Process of inquiring begins with gathering information through the human senses


Requirements of the secondary science curriculum

SCIENCE CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

The Science Curriculum Framework is derived from the

Policy Framework for the Teaching and Learning of Science.

It encapsulates the thrust of science education in Singapore

to prepare our students to be sufficiently adept as effective

citizens, able to function in and contribute to an increasingly

technologically-driven world.

Central to the curriculum framework is the inculcation of the

spirit of scientific inquiry. The conduct of inquiry is founded on

three integral domains of (a) Knowledge, Understanding and

Application, (b) Skills and Processes and (c) Ethics and

Attitudes. These domains are essential to the practice of

science. The curriculum design seeks to enable students to

view the pursuit of science as meaningful and useful. Inquiry

is thus grounded in knowledge, issues and questions that

relate to the roles played by science in daily life, society and

the environment.

Requirements of the Secondary Science Curriculum

The spirit of Scientific Inquiry


Requirements of secondary science syllabus

Requirements of Secondary Science Syllabus

Scientific inquiryisdefined as

“…the activities and processes which scientists and students engage in to study the natural and physical world around us.” (MOE, 2008, p.12)

Scientific inquiry consists of 2 critical processes:

What (Content)

How (Process)


Requirements of secondary science syllabus1

Requirements of Secondary Science Syllabus

Your students are expected to…

1. ask questionsw.r.t. daily life, society & environment

2. collect and use evidences

3. formulate and communicate explanations

Scientific inquiry consists of 2 critical processes:


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Requirements of the Secondary Science Curriculum

MOE, 2008, p 12-13

Use all or several of the essential features of science as inquiry in your lessons…

Structure your approach towards the left of the table…GRADUALLY (to meet the needs of your students)


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Requirements of the Secondary Science Curriculum

  • Inquiry lessons are to involve…

  • hands-on learning, from concrete to abstract

  • situate learning in realistic (authentic) contexts

… so design learning activities that require active

engagements of students to DO something that

relates to their REAL LIFE experiences…


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

What is Science Inquiry?

Is science inquiry really that difficult & scary??

List your concerns here:

How we can overcome:


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Objectives of this session

Now that you are aware of the MOE’s requirements… let’s look at what else we can do…

  • Is science inquiry really that difficult & scary??

  • What are the known approaches of science inquiry?

  • The 5E Learning model…one possible approach.

  • What others have done using the 5E model…


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Approaches to Science Inquiry

  • Three possible approaches…

  • The generative learning model (Osbourne & Freyberg, 1985)

  • The interactive model (Faire & Cosgrove, 1988)

  • The BSCS 5E model

Dawson, V. & Venville, G. (2007). The art of teaching primary science. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Approaches to Science Inquiry

  • The generative learning model (Osbourne & Freyberg, 1985)


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Approaches to Science Inquiry

2. The interactive model (Faire & Cosgrove, 1988)


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Approaches to Science Inquiry

  • The 5E model


Origins of bscs 5e instructional model

Origins of BSCS 5E Instructional Model

  • BSCS = Biological Science Curriculum Study

  • Traced back to early 20th century

  • Begins with the works of Johann Herbart on philosophy and psychology

  • Learning can be synthesized into an instructional model based on students’ current knowledge and their new ideas

    - connections between prior knowledge and new knowledge form ideas

  • Teacher explains ideas that students did not discover

  • Teacher provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

The BSCS 5E Learning Model (Bybee, 2002)


1 engage

Components of The 5E Model

1) Engage

  • Probe prior knowledge and concepts / misconceptions

  • Generate a question to be investigated

    - ask a question about objects, organisms or events in the environment

  • Teacher to provide guidance in forming questions that can be investigated scientifically

  • Activity should

    (1) make connections between past and present learning experiences,

    (2) anticipate activities and focus students’ thinking on the learning outcomes of current activities.


2 explore

Components of The 5E Model

2) Explore

  • Plan and conduct simple investigations, explore environment or manipulate materials.

  • Use appropriate tools and techniques to collect relevant data.

  • Provides students with experiences within which they identify and develop current concepts, processes, and skills.

I Notice / I Wonder Chart


3 explain

Components of The 5E Model

3) Explain

  • Provides opportunities for students to verbalize their conceptual understanding, or demonstrate their skills or behaviours.

  • Use data and scientific knowledge to generate explanations.

    - describe, reflect and give theories on observational data

  • Provides opportunities for teachers to introduce a formal label or definition for a concept, process, skill, or behaviour.


4 elaborate

Components of The 5E Model

4) Elaborate

  • Extends students’ conceptual understanding and allows further opportunity for students to practice desired skills and behaviours.

  • Extend strategies, concepts, principles and explanations to new problem / question.

    - apply knowledge and skills in new situations

  • Learners are presented with new learning tasks and called on to use their developing knowledge to negotiate new task.

  • Through new experiences, the students develop deeper and broader understanding, more information, and adequate skills.


5 evaluate

Components of The 5E Model

5) Evaluate

  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and ability to use inquiry strategies through formative and summative assessments.

    - communicate investigations, data and explanations to others

  • Provides a basis for decisions on how to improve learning and teaching.

  • Encourages students to assess their understanding and abilities

  • Provides opportunities for teachers to evaluate student progress towards achieving educational objectives.


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Strategies for Inquiry-based Learning and Teaching

  • Brainstorming

    - generate creative ideas and solutions

  • Case Study

    - Develop critical skills (analysing, inferring, communicating)

  • Concept Mapping

    - present meaningful relationships among concepts

    - organise and link concepts / ideas

  • Demonstration

    - each students assumes certain responsibilities and contributes to completion of tasks

    - in working with others, students are exposed to different views and solutions to accomplish a common goal

  • Field Trip

    - students explore, discover and experience science in everyday life


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Strategies for Inquiry-based Learning and Teaching

  • Games

    - simulate learning of concepts or skills

    - help students to visualise or illustrate objects / processes in real world

  • Investigation

    - students mirror how scientists think, what they do in decision making process (ask questions, plan / design investigations

  • Learning Centres

    - activities may be designed to accommodate a variety of learning styles and challenge multiple intelligences

  • Mindmapping

    - branches connect related concepts / ideas to central image

    - visual presentation of related information enhances understanding


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Strategies for Inquiry-based Learning and Teaching

  • Model Building

    - design and construct a representation of a concept / object

  • Problem Solving

    - engages students in finding solutions to problems by applying scientific knowledge and skills

  • Projects

    - require students to find out about an object, event, process / phenomenon over time

  • Questioning

    - useful tools in scientific inquiry process

  • Role Play, Drama, Dance and Movement

    - allows students to express understanding of scientific concepts and processes in a creative way


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Strategies for Inquiry-based Learning and Teaching

  • Strategies for Active and Independent Learning (SAIL)

    - emphasises learning as a formative and developmental process

    - instruction and assessment point the way for students to continuously learn and improve

    - learning expectations and rubrics are used


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Features of an Inquiry Classroom


Inquiry in biology for secondary schools evelyn teo

Frequently Asked Questions About Inquiry

In inquiry-based teaching, is it okay to tell students the answers to their questions?

Is in more important for students to learn the abilities of scientific inquiry or scientific concepts and principles?

How can teachers cover everything in the curriculum if they use inquiry-oriented materials and teaching methods?


Frequently asked questions about inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions About Inquiry

What can teachers do who are provided only traditional instructional materials?

Where can teachers get the equipment, materials and supplies they need to teach thorough inquiry?

What barriers are encountered when implementing inquiry-oriented approaches?

How can teachers improve their use of inquiry in science teaching?


Inquiry in the classroom

Inquiry in the Classroom

  • Turn to classroom case studies and read the six scenarios.

  • Review the summary of observations and answer the questions.


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