Target Inquiry Experience Descriptions

  Description Example(s)
Pre-RET Tchrs find, read & summarize research papers, engage in lab safety training, attend presentations given by potential research mentors, get matched mentors/projects of interest, determine gaps in content knowledge, begin reading in specific field of future RET, & teach lessons to classmates about requisite content for RET. Tchrs read an accessible communication from science research journal & wrote summaries identifying problem, background, methods, findings, & conclusions. Summaries critiqued by peers & instructors.
RET Projects require tchrs to review relevant literature, master laboratory techniques, collect & analyze data, & present their findings at regional or national science conferences. Close working relationships with science mentors developed during RET connect tchrs with science content resources during & after TI. Tchrs learn about process of science inquiry and deepen science content knowledge Past RET projects: Improvements in a tunable diode laser spectrometer to measure 13C/12C isotope ratios in CO2; Investigation into mechanism of 1, 2-cyclohexanediol conversion on metal catalysts; Kinetic & X-ray crystal structure analysis of boronic acids as inhibitors of ampC beta-lactamase.
RET Application Tchrs debrief their RETs by analyzing their tasks & actions using the Activity Model (Harwood, 2004) & begin to identify small changes to make to existing classroom activities to better model processes of science. Reflect on ideas about inquiry & how those change throughout RET. Modify 2 activities to pilot in classroom. Sample modifications: provided stdts with a scrambled procedure, rather than an ordered one, to help develop experimental design skills; removed data table from an existing lab & required stdts to design data table as pre-lab.
Pre-MA Tchrs read & discuss science education literature & begin to look at theory & research on teaching & learning. They study quant & qual research methods (including basic inferential statistics, theoretical frameworks, coding, instrument selection, validity, reliability, ethical considerations, & HS-IRB) focusing on AR to consider how they can use theory & data to improve stdt learning in the secondary science classroom. Tchrs begin to design their own AR projects. Tchrs examined a variety of brief “cases” describing AR projects in HS science classrooms & the quantitative data collected. Tchrs worked in pairs & use to determine important design & data analysis considerations in addition to how to modify the designs to strengthen the validity of the conclusions.
MA Tchrs adapt instructional materials to include inquiry, pilot the activities with peers & receive feedback to guide revisions. Teacher & student guides are published on the TI web site ( Teachers strengthen connections between science & science teaching, & improve pedagogical knowledge. Sample guided inquiry activity: stdts examine sets of beads glued together representing dissociated & undissociated acids to construct the concepts of percent ionization, strong v. weak acids, & acid strength v. concentration.
AR Tchrs enhance pedagogical knowledge by evaluating new materials using AR. Project requires tchrs to formulate research questions, review relevant education literature, collect & analyze data, reflect on how findings inform practice, & present findings. Tchrs write up projects for journal submission or as theses. Sample project: Using a published concept inventory & interviews, tchr is investigating the effect of new inquiry based laboratory activities designed to improve stdts’ conceptions about the particulate nature of matter.


Page last modified May 8, 2015