Argument-Driven Inquiry in Biology
by Victor Sampson, Patrick Enderle, Leeanne Gleim, Jonathon Grooms, Melanie Hester, Sherry Southerland, Kristin Wilson

Price at time of review: $42.95
418 pp.
NSTA Press
Arlington, VA
ISBN: 9781938946202

Grade Level: 9-12

Reviewed by Jean Worsley
Retired Biology Teacher

First and foremost, the authors seek to help teachers increase the level of scientific literacy in grades 9–12 using the ADI (Argument–Driven Inquiry) model in biology laboratory investigations. This model focuses on the nature of science and the nature of scientific inquiry and is divided into two basic parts.

Part I is composed of two chapters. The first chapter thoroughly describes eight stages in this instructional model and teacher behaviors. The second chapter explains the development and components of the ADI lab investigations which are classified as Introduction or Application Labs. More importantly, these investigations are aligned with A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English, language arts (CCSS ELA) and mathematics (CSSS Mathematics). In Part 2, twenty seven laboratory investigations cover four Life Science Core Ideas. They are: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics, Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits and Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. The format for each lab consists of three topics—Teacher Notes, Lab Handouts, and Checkout Questions. Some of the procedures found in traditional labs are incorporated.

In Teacher Notes, the role of the teacher, crosscutting concepts, scientific practices and concepts to help students understand the nature of science and the nature of scientific inquiry are clearly described. Facilitators will discover that the Lab Handouts are designed to help students to “literally” become scientists by “practicing science”. They will design, analyze, and critique their investigations, incorporate cross–cutting concepts, justify evidence in an argumentation session, and prepare written reports that will be reviewed by their peers. The labs culminate with Checkout Questions that reinforce an understanding of concepts related to the nature of science and the nature of scientific inquiry. The Lab Handouts can be readily replicated and require inexpensive and readily available materials. In addition, many of the investigations feature computer simulations which will reduce costs and preparation time for facilitators. In all of the investigations, emphasis is placed on literary connections—reading, writing and communicating.

The Appendixes are invaluable and contain Standards Alignment Matrices, Options for Implementing ADI Lab Investigations, Investigation Proposal Options and a Peer–Review Guide and Instructor Scoring Rubric. Information about the authors, Image Credits, references, and an index are also included. This is an excellent resource for facilitators who are interested in a new approach to laboratory investigations that will foster creativity, inquisitiveness, and an understanding of and appreciation for the nature of science and the nature of scientific inquiry.

Review posted on 7/22/2014

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