Experience Table

Target Inquiry Experience Descriptions





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.


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. 



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.



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 whichtest.info to determine important design & data analysis considerations in addition to how to modify the designs to strengthen the validity of the conclusions.


Tchrs adapt instructional materials to include inquiry, pilot the activities with peers & receive feedback to guide revisions. Tchr & stdt guides are published on the TI web site (www.gvsu.edu/targetinquiry). Tchrs 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. 


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.