Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Learning Science Through Inquiry

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Teacher-TalkInquiry is the email discussion list for Learning Science Through Inquiry. Participants in the workshops, content guides, and Channel staff will participate in this discussion list throughout the broadcast of the workshop series.

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From: Edee Wiziecki ([email protected])
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 09:33:38 EST

  • Next message: Hall, Georgia: "RE: [Teacher-talkinquiry] Extending Kits To Do Inquiry"

    I would agree with Scott and Fred. One local district has used
    teacher-development "kits" since 1990. The comment I hear most from
    elementary teachers in that district is that the kits are limiting in what
    a teacher can do--and the kits could be limiting to a novice teacher or a
    teacher without a strong background in science because those teachers
    tend to follow the prescriptive activities. (The purpose of the
    prescriptive activities were to ensure that all students receive science
    instruction. And not all teachers were ready to jump into inquiry). I
    found my job as science coordinator to encourage inquiry using the same
    activities in the kits, but to make them student-directed rather than
    teacher-directed. This doesn't take much to do. And the results are that
    when given the opportunity, students will "take off" in their
    explorations. I have learned in my 20 or so years in science education
    that the "teacher is the key" not the curriculum. Kits do provide
    excellent starting points for inquiry-based learning. I look forward to
    hearing more about Scott's classroom.

    At 04:52 PM 3/19/2001 -0500, you wrote:
    >Fred Stein states three methods of moving a "hands on kit" toward more of
    >an investigation. I couldn't agree more with him that "kits provide
    >excellent starting points" for teachers. I find that true especially with
    >the Foss kits. Consistently, students are more inquisitive and motivated
    >when the tasks within the kits aware completed. They also find the kits
    >are limited in their direction. Fred Stein's suggestion of using the
    >questions that come as the next investigations seems like a terrific way
    >to reinforce and extend concepts. I was pleased to receive his
    >suggestions. I'll post some results as the year progresses.

    Edee Norman Wiziecki
    President, Illinois Science Teachers Association
    Visiting Specialist in Education
    National Center for Supercomputing Applications
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    605 East Springfield Avenue
    Champaign, Illinois 61820
    Phone: (217) 244-5594
    Fax: (217) 244-1987

    "Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them,
    but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow
    where they lead."
    --Louisa May Alcott

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