Program Description

Target Inquiry Program Description

Target Inquiry at Grand Valley State University is an exciting, 2½-year, rigorous, and transformational professional development program designed to improve the frequency and quality of inquiry instruction in middle and high school science.

The TI program: 1) provides teacher participants with an authentic science laboratory research experience; and 2) facilitates the integration of their research experience into their classroom through the design, implementation, and evaluation of inquiry-based activities. The program is translated into three major program components: a research experience for teachers (RET), inquiry materials adaptation (MA), and action research (AR). For more details regarding these experiences, please click here.

These experiences have been incorporated into 7 graduate courses totaling 15 credits. The courses have been carefully developed and aligned to ensure that teachers are prepared for each experience, have opportunities to reflect on their learning, and can apply what they have learned to their own teaching.


TI Courses

Course #







Graduate Research Seminar

Preparation for RET: maintaining a lab notebook, conducting searches of the science literature, reading & interpreting science research papers, safety considerations. Introduction to the various science projects available for summer research.

Jan-April Yr. 1



Research for Teachers

Tchrs work with a faculty mentor while conducting science research. Tchrs improve their understanding of scientific inquiry & further develop their science content knowledge. Tchrs present research results, at GVSU or at a local or national meeting.

Summer Yr. 1



Application of Research to Teaching

Weekly mtgs facilitated by sci ed faculty to discuss science research projects. Tchrs deepen their understanding of scientific inquiry through reflection & discussion, & identify specific inquiry topics & activities to apply in their classrooms. Reflection is framed around The Activity Model (Harwood, 2004).

Summer Yr. 1



Education Research in Science

 Tchrs learn science education & AR methods designed to improve student learning in the science classroom. Topics include science education literature, quantitative & qualitative research methods, & ethical considerations.

Jan-April Yr. 2



Curriculum Adaptation

Tchrs will adapt and evaluate inquiry-based units of instruction for MS and HS science to be implemented in their own classrooms.

Summer Yr. 2



Inquiry Colloquium

Cohort members and sci ed faculty provide support for implementation & evaluation of inquiry-based materials through online discussion board and monthly class mtgs.

Sept-April Yr. 2/3



Application of Science Ed

Consultations with a science education advisor to assist in interpretation & analysis of classroom data collected during AR project & writing up of final results. 

Summer Yr. 3

If you have an advanced degree, you earn 15 graduate credits to help you advance. If you are seeking a master's degree, all 15 credits in TI may be applied toward GVSU's M.Ed. program. Visit Admissions Requirements to learn more.

Page last modified November 13, 2014