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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Learning Science Through Inquiry

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jul 03, 2002 by Teacher Education
Overview: This 8-part workshop for K-8 science teachers shows inquiry teaching and
learning in action, with real teachers and real students in real classrooms.
Whether you have already experimented with inquiry teaching and want to enhance
your practice, or are new to the approach and want to know how to make it work
in your classroom, Learning Science Through Inquiry will help you understand the
process and how it benefits students. The Annenberg/CPB Channel provides
quicktime videos, transcripts, handouts, and readings for these professional
development workshops for K-8 science teachers. The URL for this site is
http://www.learner.org/channel/workshops/inquiry.
Learning Goals: The workshop linked in this site will show educators how to make inquiry work in
the classroom and how it benefits students.
Target Student Population: The workshops are designed for science teachers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A basic or beginning understanding of the scientific inquiry method of teaching
would be helpful.
Type of Material: This website can be used as a tutorial, presentation, and has scientific inquiry
supportive reference materials.
Recommended Uses:
Technical Requirements: The movies require the QuickTime plug-in and the support materials require Adobe
Acrobat Reader. Links to download the plug-ins are provided on the website.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Learning Science Through Inquiry website has a wealth of organized
information, resources, and links for the scientific inquiry learning method for
educators. This website has many special features, such as support material,
resource list, suggestions for implementing a scientific inquiry lesson,
frequently asked questions page, and a chat site for teachers to discuss the
inquiry method. The site is well organized and easy to navigate from the
beginning knowledge of scientific inquiry to implementing it into a classroom.
Concerns: Materials are available through subscription by facilitator. Groups of teachers
working together could use the materials that include activities, video tapes
(sent through the mail). Some of the main materials linked for information are
connected to another site, National Science Foundation. A concern would be that
the links stay active for connection, since these links are needed for the
scientific inquiry-learning program.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Learning Science Through Inquiry site could be utilized in several ways as a
teaching tool. Although it was designed as workshops for in-service teachers,
it could also be incorporated in the elementary, middle, and secondary teacher
education programs in the science methods courses. The website could be used as
a tutorial and/or a resource site for the science inquiry teaching method.
Concerns: To use this site properly, groups of students or teachers must be signed up for
the Workshop. The website was designed to assist educators in presenting
workshops for in-service teachers to apply the scientific inquiry method into
their curricula, but with a few changes could be used in other ways as a
learning tool.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This well organized website makes it easy to move to the numerous links to
locate information.
Concerns: Takes a minute or so to download movies. In the future, it may be helpful for
the movies to be converted to a streaming format. Streaming usually takes less
time to download and less hard drive disk space. To do this workshop properly,
signup should be done ahead of time.

Other Issues and Comments: From the author: Learning Science Through Inquiry was produced by Thirteen/WNET
in New York with funding from Annenberg/CPB. This workshop does not deal with
specifically with classroom management.