Engaging Students in Scientific Inquiry

Professional Learning for Educators

Engaging Students in Scientific Inquiry provides a learning framework for pre-service teachers, practising teachers and university educators. These self-paced professional learning resources include video, practical and research resources, designed to help you understand and teach science based on contemporary scientific research practice.

“Understanding the logics of scientific research is central to learning science and becoming a science teacher. Scientific inquiry must form the foundation for all science learning.”

Dr Alberto Bellocchi, Lead Academic

About the resources and how to use them

Introducing ‘Engaging Students in Scientific Inquiry’
Dr Alberto Bellocchi, Queensland University of Technology

 

Extended scientific investigations are an important part of school science instruction and student learning experiences. Engaging in the design, conduct and reporting of scientific inquiry projects, enables students to gain a more reflective and practical understanding of science.

Educators and scientists have collaborated to create these unique resources, that unpack the processes involved with scientific inquiry across different fields. The resources are appropriate for secondary science education across physics, chemistry, ecological science and medical research. Engaging Students in Scientific Inquiry will help pre-service, beginning and experienced teachers in deepening their understanding and application of scientific inquiry. Teachers can adapt the resources for use in their school classrooms.

To find out more: contact Dr Alberto Bellocchi, Queensland University of Technology, Lead Academic on the project, and see further information below.

 

Professional Learning Resources – Examples of Scientific Research Designs

DESIGNING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SCIENTIFIC THINKING
Dr James Davies, who has developed this series of videos and practical learning activities. Dr Jennifer Firn, who developed this series of videos and practical learning activities. Johnston Davidson, Experimental Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science, who developed this series of learning resources. Jason Doyle, Experimental Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science, who developed this learning resource.
Correlational research design: Dr James Davis discusses correlational inquiry in the medical research field.
+ see further research design resources & classroom learning activities.
Manipulative experimental research design: Dr Jennifer Firn discusses experimental inquiry in the ecological sciences.
+ see further research design resources.
The Role of Distributed Reasoning: Johnston Davidson discusses scientists thinking through problems in multi-disciplinary teams. The Role of Analogical Reasoning: Jason Doyle discusses scientists thinking through similarities to rapidly navigate a problem space.
Dr Stephen Hughes, who developed this series of videos and practical learning activities. Jana Adamovska, who developed this series of videos and practical learning activities. Dr Paul Muir, Collection Manager and Researcher, Museum of Tropical Queensland, who developed this learning resource.
Descriptive / observational research design: Dr Stephen Hughes discusses descriptive / observational inquiry in the field of Astrophysics.
+ see further research design resources & classroom learning activities.
Manipulative experimental research design: Jana Adamovska discusses experimental inquiry in chemistry, working with biofuels.
+ see further research design resources.
The Role of Unexpected Findings: Dr Paul Muir discusses scientists thinking their way into novel theories and inquiries.

 

Professional Learning Resources – Research Design Explained

COMPARATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH DESIGN DESCRIPTIVE / OBSERVATIONAL RESEARCH DESIGN
Overview video Overview video
Overview video
Comparative Inquiry – classroom learning activities (pdf) Correlational Inquiry – classroom learning activities (pdf)
+ see scientist’s video focusing on correlational inquiry in medical research
Descriptive Inquiry – classroom learning activities (pdf)
+ see scientist’s video focusing on descriptive / observational inquiry in astrophysics
MANIPULATIVE EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH DESIGN PERTURBATION RESEARCH DESIGN AND OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES RESEARCH LITERATURE AND LINKS
Overview video Overview video Summary document (pdf)
+ see scientists’ videos focusing on experimental inquiry in ecology and chemistry Perturbation Studies – classroom learning activities (pdf)

 

About the project

Engaging Students in Scientific Inquiry is part of a project called ‘Practising Science with Pre-Service Teachers. The project was aimed at enhancing pre-service teachers’ learning experiences in higher education to support school-based instruction, and trialled as part of teacher education courses at Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University.

You can find out more about the project objectives and impactthe scientists and the project team, and contact project leader Dr Alberto Bellocchi for more information.