Tool IH-2: Exploring IBL tasks in science

For this tool you will need the following resources:

  • IH-2 PowerPoint

This tool provides teachers with opportunities to experience IBL download_powerpointtasks as students and become aware of the educational potential of these approaches. Teachers reflect on the sorts of things that students are required to do when they engage in inquiry activities and identify key features associated with powerful IBL activities.

teamworkAsk teachers to work in pairs to explore some IBL tasks from the mascil repository:

They should identify what sorts of things students would be doing if they were engaged in these tasks. They should be able to get started, but if not, you might refer to the mascil ‘Inquiry Learning Dimensions’, which are:

  • exploring situations;
  • planning investigations;
  • experimenting systematically;
  • interpreting and evaluating; and
  • communicating results.

If you do use this list, ask them to what extent they agree with these dimensions, what they would add, what is less important to them and so on. You want them to consider the dimensions critically and not just to accept them.

teamworkBring the group together and ask them to discuss what kind of challenges their students would encounter when working on the activities and what they would do as teachers to support them. Discuss what kind of classroom atmosphere is required to make students fully engage in discussions and the evaluation of alternative strategies, ideas and explanations.

nextstepsAsk the teachers to select an IBL task from the mascil classroom materials, or an alternative source, that they would like to try out. Encourage them to use the task in their classrooms and report about their experiences in the next professional development session. When they report back, promote reflection on the lesson and the responses of the students and ask the teachers what they themselves have learned or what they would do differently next time.