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Wed Mar 14 2001 - 18:59:01 EST
Next message: Saundra Wever Frerichs: "[Teacher-talkinquiry] museum setting"
I teach in a middle school setting and at times I feel it is hard to let go
of a structured investigation since it is one "I" want the students to
complete. I do believe we have traditionally thought if students are
manipulating materials, they are learning the concepts. I can say that is
WRONG. They may learn the concepts for the test but do not have a deep
"understanding" for them to take along their educational career.
I recently gave students a general question and said "How do ______ act?"
"What can we change about _____?" "What variables affect_____?"
The students gave more responses than I originally thought of. I then
gathered some of the materials and had the students explore the materials
knowing what the general objective I wanted them to uncover. With some
guiding parameters, the students could come up with a well-designed
investigation with all of the components such as the independent, dependent
variables and controls. They set up their own data tables to give them
sufficient data to make a meaningful graph. They then could draw conclusions
about the investigation they designed.
They hold on to this type of experience a lot longer than in our traditional
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