Essay about Inquiry Based Learning using Technology and Socio-Scientific Inquiry

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Science teachers have placed a high value on “scientific” thinking in their classes for quite some time. Unfortunately in the not to recent past that meant cook book labs, scripted lessons and taught students a prescribed way to do the scientific method. This left little room for free thought, questions and independence on the part of the student. The American Association for the Advancement of Science reports that, science educators have worked to infuse scientific inquiry into the K–12 curriculum (1990). This may be true but the definition that science teachers’ use for inquiry has been evolving and developing since then. Today teachers struggle with gaining the interest of their students who are surrounded by a multimedia deluge of information and distractions. One way for teachers to implement inquiry in this environment is by the use of high interest socioscientific inquiry (SSI). Socioscientific inquiry uses serious ecological concerns and critical citizenship to develop the students’ scientific inquiry and social responsibilities. There are many roadblocks that get in the way of using inquiry in the science classroom the teachers must contend with such as pressure to perform on standardized tests, time, teacher preparation and in-service training and financial constraints. In the long run using (SSI), socioscientific inquiry will pay dividends for the students, teachers and our environment both at the local and global levels.
The SSI movement focuses specifically on empowering students to consider how science-based issues and the decisions made concerning them reflect, in part, the moral principles and qualities of virtue that encompass their own lives, as well as the physical and social world around them (Walker 2...

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...pretation, communication and collaboration.

Works Cited

American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1990. Science for all Americans. New
York: Oxford University Press.

Bell, P. (2004). Promoting students’ argument construction and collaborative debate in the science classroom. Internet environments for science education. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Houser, N. (2005) Inquiry Island: Social Responsibility and Ecological Sustainability in the
Twenty-first Century. The Social Studies May/June 2005 pp. 127-132.

Walker, K and Zeidler D. (2007). Promoting Discourse about Socioscientific Issues through Scaffolded Inquiry. International Journal of Science Education Vol. 29, No. 11, pp. 1387–1410.

Ketelhut, D. and Nelson, C. (2010): Designing for real-world scientific
inquiry in virtual environments, Educational Research, 52:2, 151-167

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