Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Find Out More — Resource List

Workshop 1 | Workshop 2 | Workshop 3 | Workshop 4 | Workshop 5

Workshop 6 | Workshop 7 | Workshop 8

Workshop 1. What is Inquiry and Why Do It?

Inquiry Thoughts, Views, and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom: A Monograph for Professionals in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education
by Institute for Inquiry Staff and Colleagues for the Foundations series, National Science Foundation. The Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, 1998, 111 pages

This monograph provides the philosophy behind inquiry and some salient features important to classroom translation. It provides background and rationale for inquiry, and some image of how this might look in practice.

Available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf99148/htmstart.htm

Inquiry Descriptions

Inquiry descriptions written by researchers, teachers, and professional development specialists from the fields of science, mathematics, history, writing, and the arts who attended the 1996 Institute for Inquiry Forum at the San Francisco Exploratorium, 47 pages

Available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/resources/inquirydesc.html

Inquiry Strategies for Science and Mathematics Learning: It's Just Good Teaching
by Denise Jarrett, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, May 1997, 37 pages

Provides the rationale for using inquiry-based teaching and offers specific strategies that teachers can use in the classroom to facilitate their students' learning of concepts and skills.

Available at http://www.nwrel.org/msec/pub.html

Inventing Density
by Eleanor Duckworth, Professor of Education, Harvard University, published by North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation, Grand Forks, ND, 1986, 31 pages

An in-depth story of an adult inquiry classroom.

Available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/resources/classroom/inventingdensity.html

Having of Wonderful Ideas and Other Essays
by Eleanor Duckworth, Teachers College Press, 1996, 179 pages

The essays start from the premise that curriculum, assessment, and all aspects of teaching must seek out, acknowledge, and take advantage of all the pathways people might take to their understanding.

To order go to http://www.tcpress.org

Inquiring Into Inquiry Learning and Teaching in Science
edited by Jim Minstrell and Emily H. van Zee, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2000, 496 pages

Offers a coherent vision of the attributes of inquiry from more than 40 contributors. Researchers, science educators, scientists, and K-12 teachers define inquiry teaching and learning, and address a relevant question or issue in the context of their own practices.

To order go to http://www.aaas.org

Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain
by Renate Nummela Caine and Geoffrey Caine, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, June 1994, 214 pages

Explains how the brain works during learning. Also suggests how the information can be used to help design and run more effective learning experiences for students.

To order go to http://www.cainelearning.com


Workshop 2. Setting the Stage: Creating a Learning Community

The Constructivist Learning Model
by Robert E. Yager, Science Teacher; v58 n6, September 1991, pp. 52-57

As teaching science through inquiry requires a shift in understanding of the nature of science, the nature of learning, and the nature of teaching, this article characterizes the science classroom where the constructivist model can best be used.

Available at http://www.eiu.edu/~scienced/5660/gotta/G-4_R-3.html

How Teaching for Understanding Changes the Rules in the Classroom
by Martha Stone Wiske, Educational Leadership, February 1994, pp. 11-19

Within classrooms, students are rarely asked to help set the curricular agenda, formulate assessment criteria, or monitor how well those criteria are met.

Available at http://www.ascd.org/portal/site/ascd/index.jsp/

In Search of Understanding: The Case for the Constructivist Classroom.
by Jacqueline Grennan Brooks and Martin G. Brooks, ASCD, 1999, 136 pages

Builds a case for the development of classrooms where students construct deep understandings of important concepts. Presents new images for educational settings: student engagement, interaction, reflection, and construction.

To order go to http://shop.ascd.org/index.cfm

The Teaching of Science in Primary Schools
by Wynne Harlen, David Fulton Publishers, Chapters 10-12, pp. 74-99

The three chapters focus specifically on the teachers' role in the development of ideas, process skills, and scientific attitudes in children.

To order go to http://www.fultonpublishers.co.uk/

by Jeanne Gibbs, Center Source Systems, 1995, 432 pages

A systematic approach to help develop the external environment as well as children's internal strength and skills to participate in the cooperative classroom. Activities to get started with community- building include Community Circle (p. 219) What's in My Name (p. 276); Am I Napoleon; People Hunt (p. 280); Extended Nametags (p. 284) ; Tribe Graffiti (p. 300); Campaign Manager (p. 301).

To order go to http://www.tribes.com

Cooperative Learning
by Dr. Spencer Kagan, Kagan, 1994, 392 pages

This practical book on cooperative learning provides hundreds of ready-to-use team-building and class-building activities.

To order go to http://www.kaganonline.com/catalog/cooperative_learning.php#BKCL

by Vanston Shaw, Kagan, October 1992, 248 pages

The cooperative learning lessons in this book are designed to help create unity, build conflict resolution skills, and foster a will to work together.

To order go to http://www.kaganonline.com/Catalog/index.html

Workshop 3. The Process Begins: Launching the Inquiry Exploration

Nurturing Inquiry: Real Science for the Elementary Classroom
by Charles R. Pearce, Heinemann, 1999, 148 pages

The book offers a tour of Pearce's inquiry science classroom, where students are given daily opportunities to do what they do best: investigate, explore, and discover, using their own questions, curiosities, and interests. Replete with practical ideas for materials, activities, and strategies.

To order go to http://www.heinemann.com/products/E00135.aspx

Beyond the Science Kit: Inquiry in Action.
edited by W. Saul and J. Reardon, Heinemann, 1996,190 pages

This book tells how to use science kits, encouraging teachers and their students to see kits as a beginning to real scientific inquiry.

To order go to http://books.heinemann.com/

Drop Device Inquiry: Investigating Liquids
by Sandi Graham and Jim Keighton, Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC, 1994 ASTC Annual Conference, 4 pages

An outline for planning an inquiry-based science experience in the classroom. It describes the process of organizing the initial exploration with materials; discussing, summarizing, and clarifying questions for continued investigation; and developing further explorations and applications.

Available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi-archive/resources/workshops/dropdevice.html

Using KWL to Introduce Inquiry: Balls and Ramps
by Molly McLaughlin, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, October 16, 1994, ASTC Annual Conference, 3 pages

The KWL structure is provided to set up explorations and investigations.

Available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/lifescienceinquiry/usingkwl.html

Managing Hands-on Inquiry
by Alan D. Rossman, Science and Children, Sept. 1993. v31 n1, pp. 35-37

Encourages teachers to use hands-on, inquiry experiences to teach science. Describes the perceived risks of using hands-on inquiry and how to manage those risks.


Workshop 4. Focus the Inquiry: Designing the Exploration

The Power of Questioning
by Wendy Cheong, Connect, March/April 2000; vol. 13, Issue 4, 4 pages

The author explores the role and challenges of questioning to advance inquiry skills in her second-grade classroom.

Available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/resources/classroom/connect/cheong.html

How To Make Lab Activities More Open-Ended
by Alan Colburn, CSTA Journal, Fall 1997, pp. 4-6.

When your students do laboratory activities, are they simply following directions, asking whether they are getting the "right answers," and not really learning much from the experience? Here are strategies for open-ended inquiry.

Available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/workshops/lab_activities.html

Primary Science — Taking the Plunge: How to Teach Science More Effectively for Ages 5 to 12
edited by Wynne Harlen, Heinemann, 1985, 116 pages

This book is helpful for planning investigations, (specifically Chapter 4, which explores questioning techniques and Chapter 6, which helps children to plan investigations).

To order go to http://books.heinemann.com/

The Teaching of Science in Primary Schools
by Wynne Harlen, David Fulton Publishers, Chapters 14-15, pp. 109-121

The two chapters focus specifically on the teachers' questions that encourage and help children to learn.

To order go to http://www.fultonpublishers.co.uk/


Workshop 5. The Inquiry Continues: Collecting Data and Drawing Upon Resources

Learning Together Through Inquiry–From Columbus to Integrated Curriculum
by Kathy G. Short, Jean Schroeder, Julie Laird, Gloria Kauffman, Margaret J. Ferguson, and Kathleen Marie Crawford, 1996, 224 pages

An accessible guide to applying the inquiry cycle and negotiating curriculum around a broad concept. It is also a compelling snapshot of how teachers collaborate to enrich their own and their students' learning.

To order go to https://www.stenhouse.com/content/learning-together-through-inquiry

Web Projects

The following online projects encourage data collection and using outside resources:

Journey North

Follow satellite trackings of monarch butterflies, eagles, humpback whales, and even flowers, collecting data on any of a dozen different migrations beginning in February each year. The full year's investigation helps teachers incorporate inquiry-based learning into the curriculum.

American Museum of Natural History's Biodiversity Project

Biodiversity Counts is a hands-science project that gets students out of the classroom and into nature to inventory the plant and arthropod life. In this project, students use their own observations, evidence, and analysis in order to understand the importance of biodiversity in the natural world.

Classroom FeederWatch

Students act as amateur ornithologists, contributing data to a real research data base, sharing their data with other student ornithologists, analyzing those data, and using their findings to describe how the natural world works. Supports the National Science Education Standards, and makes full use of the Internet to build true student and scientist partnerships.


Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is a worldwide network of students, teachers, and scientists working together to study and understand the global environment. Participants make environmental observations at or near your schools and report data through the Internet. Scientists use the data in their research and provide feedback to the students. Global images based on student data are displayed on the World Wide Web.

NASA Quest

Online at NASA Quest you can meet scientists, engineers, technicians and other diverse NASA professionals. Students find this exciting, breaking down the artificial barriers between the school, the wider community and the world of work. The project offers a variety of modules that help teachers integrate Web interactions into the curriculum.

Franklin Institute: The Heart: An Online Exploration

This site includes a comprehensive online exploration of the heart and its functions.


Workshop 6. Bring It All Together: Processing for Meaning During Inquiry

The Power of Children's Thinking
by Karen Worth, National Science Foundation, The Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, 7 pages

This article explores how the theories children build, whether they are right or wrong, are not capricious. They are often logical and rational, and firmly based in evidence and experience.

Available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf99148/ch_4.htm

The Right Question at the Right Time
by Jos Elstgeest, Chapter 4 of Primary Science — Taking the Plunge: How To Teach Primary Science More Effectively, edited by Wynne Harlen, Heinemann, 1985, pp. 36-46

A question already has within it the kind of answer that can be given, even before it is spoken. This chapter discusses the many kinds of questions; their varying effect on children is striking.

To order go to http://books.heinemann.com/


Workshop 7. Assessing Inquiry

Assessment of Science Inquiry
by G. E. Hein and S. Lee, National Science Foundation, The Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, 6 pages

Different types of classroom assessment can give teachers different kinds of evaluation information. This article surveys the assessment methods available to teachers, and talks about the challenges inherent in evaluating learning in the inquiry classroom.

Available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf99148/ch_12.htm

The Horse Before the Cart: Assessing for Understanding
by Rebecca Simmons, Educational Leadership, February 1994, pp. 13-22

From the beginning of curriculum planning, teachers need to know the ways in which they expect students to demonstrate their understanding.

TO order go to http://www.ascd.org/portal/site/ascd/index.jsp/

The Teaching of Science in Primary Schools
by Wynne Harlen, David Fulton Publishers, Chapters 19-23 pp. 149-200

The chapters focus specifically on curriculum planning and assessment of teaching, scientific ideas, and process skills and attitudes.

To order go to http://www.fultonpublishers.co.uk/

Active Assessment for Active Science, A Guide for Elementary School Teachers
by George E. Hein and S. Price, Heinemann, 1994, 155 pages

Provides practical information on developing, interpreting, and scoring these new alternatives to traditional tests and meets the needs of teachers faced with the task of assessing hands-on science.

To order go to http://books.heinemann.com/

* The Right Test for Hands-on Learning
by George E. Hein, Science and Children, October 1987, v25 n2, pp 8-12.

Notes some of the conflicts between the use of hands-on science curricula and standardized testing. Describes some promising developments in assessment in science education

The African Primary Science Program: An Evaluation and Extended Thoughts
by Eleanor Duckworth, North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation, Feb. 1978, 145 pages

The philosophy underlying the African Primary Science Program–results are summarized in terms of task performance, student behavior, and development of students' potential.


Workshop 8. Connecting Other Subjects to Inquiry

At the Exploratorium: Teaching Art and Science
by Ann Chamberlain, Educational Perspectives: Journal of the College of Education 1987, v24 n2, pp. 11-16

Reviews the School in the Exploratorium (SITE) program at the San Francisco Museum of Art and Science. Stresses the value of an interdisciplinary approach to science education in a museum setting. Points out the importance of play in engaged observation.

Available at http://www.exploratorium.com/ifi/about/publications/index.html

Cheche Konnen: Scientific Sense-Making in Bilingual Education
by Ann S. Rosebery, Beth Warren, and Laura Sylvan, Hands on! Spring 1992, 5 pages

What is the place of science in bilingual education? This article describes how in many language minority classrooms it has no place at all.

Available at http://www2.terc.edu/handsonIssues/spring_95/sensemaking.html

Science Workshop: Reading, Writing, and Thinking Like a Scientist
by E.W. Saul et. al., 2002, 160 pages

This book takes the ideas and methods developed through a reading/writing workshop and applies them to the teaching of science.

To order go to http://books.heinemann.com/

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