Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 7 readings

I enjoyed this week’s readings. I liked how both articles went into specific real-life examples that show how inquiry-based learning operates in action. The reading by Reiser and colleagues talk about the use of science practice in education. I find it interesting that the term “practice” is used instead of skills, because it’s fitting that science is not just an exercise to acquire knowledge, but also needs the ability to evaluate that knowledge and assign values to it. I think involving students in science this way would actually help them to think and make logical conclusions on their own. One uniting theme for the three examples given is that there is a lot of social aspect to science, because each student would voice their ideas and critique each other to refine or formulate ideas. In essence they’re doing what the scientific community does in discovering and communicating new knowledge, which is I think what should be done in classrooms so teaching doesn’t have to be memorization. The reading by Sampson talks about argument-driven inquiry, which allows teachers to integrate lab-based activities into science classroom. I particularly liked this article because it gives a complete rundown of the steps involved in a lab. I think it’s refreshing to not only think lab classes as merely a time to do some hands-on work, but also a true scientific experience from start to finish. From the identification of a problem to peer review near the end, it really feels like what a scientist would do in his daily tasks. I also appreciated the emphasis on writing and communicating findings and interpretations, whose importance is not restricted to science. My PI likes to say that whenever you’re writing a paper, you have to put it together like you’re telling a story, which I feel is the gist of argument-driven inquiry. In conclusion I thought the readings were really valuable.


  1. I understand why a lot of people liked the article by Sampson, however, I think my issue with it comes from having repeated this process, over and over and over again in high school and in college. Writing lab reports and working through labs in a processed way may keep everyone on track but I worry about the repetitive nature of this method. Do you think there is a way to prevent the students from seeing this monotony? Students enjoy doing the lab, I also want my students to enjoy every step, while still learning the concepts. I may be naive in wanting this but I hope I can figure out how to implement it in my classroom one day.

  2. I think maybe space them out so not all labs require a write up. The example given in the paper looks like it warrants a report, but some smaller labs when you're just trying to see an on/off phenomenon probably can go without a detailed report.