Inquiry and Literacy:
An Unquestionable Connection
The Scientific Method
There's no one right method for inquiry, but they all tend to include:
3. Collection and organization of data
4. Construction of models, theories, and explanations
- The notion that people build their own knowledge and representations of new information from their own experiences.
- Knowledge is most effectively acquired by evoking personal meaning in the learner.
- Knowledge is constructed through the steps found in the scientific method.
- Teacher's duty? "Facilitating inquiry lessons or activities that address children's questions about the natural world." (p. 190).
- Emphasizes on thinking, not telling children what to think.
- Teachers must incorporate critical thinking into their classroom.
Relationship of Science and Literacy
- Connecting science to literacy can promote positive attitudes in children.
- Story and pictures in trade books can trigger science conceptual understanding.
- Literacy skills are reinforced through hands on science activities.
- Language skills are strengthened through discussion.
- Writing skills are practiced when student created science books and journals are utilized.
Process Skills in Science are Also Present in Literacy
determine shapes, sounds, syllables, and word accents
recognize letters, words, prefixes, suffixes, and roots
isolate important characters, enumerate ideas, use appropriate terminology
compare/contrast characteristics, arrange ideas, order and sequence
asking questions, investigating relationships, following procedures
taking notes, using reference material, referring to different parts of a book, recording info in an organized way
cause/effect relationships, vary reading rate, organize facts, summarize info
arrange and sequence info in a logical format
generalize and analyze, identify the main ideas
Trade Books in the Inquiry Classroom
Students should research their chosen topic prior to beginning investigation in order to...
- ...evaluate their results and explanations.
- ...compare their ideas to accepted ideas.
- ...base their final conclusion on their findings in addition to their evaluations.
Inquiry Training Model
surprising, unusual, unexpected occurrences
a state of mental uncertainty about the explanation of said occurrence
a state of mental satisfaction
Why would I want to teach this way???
- Students tend to perform better on standardized tests than their peers in more traditional classes (Bass et al., 2009).
- Students with learning disabilities and ELL students can successfully engage (Duschl, Schweingruber, & Shouse, 2007).
- Springboard for growth in verbal fluency and literacy (Lapp, 2001).
"Inquiry instruction is an approach to teaching that focuses on understanding the world by questioning, investigating, observing, and explaining the order of the world around us (Bass et al., 2009). As mentioned, research indicates that there are numerous positive benefits for students who engage in inquiry learning. Additionally, teaching as inquiry provides many opportunities for teachers to interact with their students and to develop the abilities and attitudes children need to inquire on their own (Bass et al., 2009, p. 25)."