By: Dennis Smithenry and Joan Gallagher-Bolos
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Whole-Class Inquiry: Creating Student-Centered Science Communities
2010 Winner of Distinguished Achievement Award
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Grade Level:||High School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: WCI Project 1—Chemistry Concoctions
To access transcripts of the Whole-Class Inquiry DVDs, visit the book’s "Extra" page.
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
The authors have successfully transformed typical high school science classrooms into student-led scientific communities in which learners take ownership of their projects and mimic real-world exploration. Now, in response to requests from science education professionals, they have created the perfect vehicle for implementing and assessing this concept of whole-class inquiry in your classroom. This volume provides first-hand descriptions of Joan Gallagher-Bolos’s aims, observations, and impressions, as well as introspective analysis, as she moves her chemistry class toward the ultimate goal of whole-class inquiry. In addition, two included DVDs enable you to watch the subtle details and methods involved in the transformation as the class completes three different projects onscreen. This is a must-have package for preservice and inservice middle and high school science teachers who are interested in exploring, learning to use, and vicariously experiencing this rewarding and proven approach.
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Scientific habits of mind
Using scientific equipment
|Intended User Role:||Curriculum Supervisor, High-School Educator, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Classroom management, Curriculum, Educational research, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Professional development, Science safety, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies
About the Authors
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 WCI Project 1—Chemistry Concoctions
Chapter 3 WCI Assessments
Chapter 4 WCI Project 2—CanCo
Chapter 5 WCI Project 3—Solutions
Chapter 6 The Impact and Utility of the WCI Curriculum
Chapter 7 Summary
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 33 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Properties of objects and materials
- Materials can exist in different states--solid, liquid, and gas. (K-4)
- Structure and properties of matter
- Solids, liquids, and gases differ in the distances and angles between molecules or atoms and therefore the energy that binds them together. (9-12)
- In solids the structure is nearly rigid; in liquids molecules or atoms move around each other but do not move apart; and in gases molecules or atoms move almost independently of each other and are mostly far apart. (9-12)
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
- Communicate investigations and explanations.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions.
- Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications. (9-12)
- Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models. (9-12)
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- Types of investigations include describing objects, events, and organisms; classifying them; and doing a fair test (experimenting).
- Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations. (K-4)
- Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry. (9-12)
- History and Nature of Science
- Science as a human endeavor
- Individuals and teams have contributed and will continue to contribute to the scientific enterprise. (9-12)
- Doing science or engineering can be as simple as an individual conducting field studies or as complex as hundreds of people working on a major scientific question or technological problem. (9-12)
- Nature of science
- Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. (5-8)
- Although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation. (5-8)
- Nature of scientific knowledge
- Science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge through the use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and skepticism, as scientists strive for the best possible explanations about the natural world. (9-12)
- Process Standards for Professional Development
- Address teachers' needs as learners and build on their current knowledge of science content, teaching, and learning. (NSES)
- Introduce teachers to scientific literature, media, and technological resources that expand their science knowledge and their ability to access further knowledge. (NSES)
- Uses learning strategies appropriate to the intended goal. (NSDC)
- Build on the teacher's current science understanding, ability, and attitudes. (NSES)
- Incorporate ongoing reflection on the process and outcomes of understanding science through inquiry. (NSES)
- Teaching Standards
- Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
- Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
- Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers
- Encourage and model the skills of scientific inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science.
- Orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas.
- Challenge students to accept and share responsibility for their own learning.
- Recognize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning.
- Teachers provide students with the time, space, and resources needed to learn science.
- Create a setting for student work that is flexible and supportive of science inquiry.
- Teachers of science develop communities of science learners that reflect the intellectual rigor of scientific inquiry.
- Enable students to have a significant voice in decisions about the content and context of their work and require students to take responsibility for the learning of all members of the community.
- Structure and facilitate ongoing formal and informal discussion based on a shared understanding of rules of scientific discourse.
- Nurture collaboration among students.
“Dennis Smithenry and Joan Gallagher-Bolos have written a wonderful book that incorporates teaching strategies for actual teachers using scaffolding, demonstrations, and the implementation of whole-class inquiry. … I like the idea of an inquiry-based learning classroom, and I have tried to match that idea with the realities of my own classroom. However, student-centered inquiry learning never happened there in the way that the experts said it should. This book can help teachers turn the idea of inquiry-based learning into a concrete and effective reality.”
Journal of Chemical Education, January 2010
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