OVERVIEW: The Midwest Comprehensive Center at American Institutes for Research recently released a report that describes the history of scientific inquiry in the recent decades and its evolution into the science and engineering practices of the NGSS. This report provides a clear background for anyone struggling with the “where is my inquiry?” question as they implement NGSS. This document also provides a key piece of evidence in helping folks move beyond instruction of The Scientific Method.
AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, administrators, teacher educators, and PD providers
PURPOSE: The report examines trends in science inquiry education over time. Below is an excerpt from the introduction to the report. While the authors of the report reside in the midwest, the findings from the document apply to all areas of the United States.
This report explores the evolving notions of scientific inquiry over time, including how scientific inquiry is currently reflected within the new NRC framework and NGSS. This report also explores the extent to which current trends related to notions of inquiry are reflected in the state science standards adopted by Wisconsin and neighboring states. This report centers on the following guiding question:
How is the term “scientific inquiry” currently understood and being used by members of the science education community, particularly in light of the NRC’s A Framework for K– 12 Science Education and the release of the Next Generation Science Standards?
The report is divided into two parts. Part I explores key trends in the use and understanding of the term “scientific inquiry” over time as reflected in prior and current national standards and other related sources. Part II examines the extent to which current notions of inquiry outlined in the NRC framework and NGSS are reflected in the science standards adopted by Wisconsin and neighboring states within the Great Lakes and Midwest regions.