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Active Learning and InquiryBased Teaching Strategies


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Title: Active Learning and InquiryBased Teaching Strategies

Active Learning andInquiry-Based Teaching
  • Lynda Paznokas
  • Associate Dean for School and Community
  • Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science

Lynda and Skip PaznokasPullman, Washington USA
I Hear and I Forget,I See and I Remember,I Do
and I UnderstandChinese Proverb
  • Students given problem, procedure,
  • and outcome.
  • A concept or principle is presented and the
    student performs some exercise to confirm it.
  • The student knows what is supposed to happen and
    the procedure has been carefully outlined for the
    student to follow.
  • NOTE Some people do not consider
  • this inquiry.
  • Realize that it is a very beginning approach
  • to inquiry for students.

  • Students given problem and procedure,
  • but not outcome.
  • The student is presented with a problem but does
    not know the results beforehand.
  • Procedures are outlined.
  • Selection of activities and materials is
  • structured to enable the student to
  • discover relationships and to
  • generalize from data collected.

  • Students given problem but
  • not procedure nor outcome
  • Only the problem to investigate is given to the
  • The students direct their own procedures and
    methods of collecting data from which concepts or
    principles are discovered and generalized.

OPEN INQUIRYLevel 4 Inquiry
  • Students determine their own
  • problem, procedure, and outcome.
  • The student formulates both the problem and the
    procedure for solving the problem, interprets the
    data, and arrives at conclusions.

Adjust a lesson to be more inquiry-based
Japanese Lesson Study
  • Lesson Study is an ongoing, collaborative,
    professional development process that was
    developed in Japan.
  • Many teachers in the U.S. and Canada are
    interested in the process to help them improve
    their teaching and their students achievement.
  • Lesson Study involves a group of teachers working
    together on a broad goal and developing lesson
    plans that are observed, analyzed, and revised.

Lesson Study Process
  • Choose a research theme (Example determine how
    to increase independent thinking in students in
  • Focus the research (set a goal)
  • Create the lesson (select a lesson and follow an
    established lesson plan template)
  • Teach and observe the lesson (lesson is taught by
    a member of the group and observed by the other
    members. Focus is on students thinking not on
    the teachers abilities.)
  • Discuss the lesson (group discusses on same day)
  • Revise the lesson (revise based on observations
    and analysis another member of the group teaches
    the lesson process of observation, discussion,
    and revision repeats)
  • Document the findings (group outlines what was

Lesson Study Cycle
  • For more information
  • http//
  • Columbia Universitys Teachers College Lesson
    Study Research Group
  • Review
  • Set Goals?
  • Analyze and Plan?
  • Teach and Observe?
  • Discuss and Revise?
  • Teach and Observe?
  • Discuss and Revise?
  • Report on Goals

The Big Six Guide to Information Problem Solving
  • The Big Six is an information literacy
    curriculum, an information problem solving
    process, and a set of skills that provide a
    strategy for effectively and efficiently meeting
    information needs.
  • The Big Six skills approach can be used whenever
    students are in a situation, academic or
    personal, which requires information to solve a
    problem, make a decision, or complete a task.

Information Literacy - Science Focus
  • In this age of tabloid news and easy internet
    access, students must be savvy information
    consumers. They need to be aware that not all the
    reports they see may be accurate or
    factual.Instead of unquestioningly accepting the
    reliability of what they read, see, and hear,
    they have the skills to test the veracity of the
    information themselves. They are aware that it is
    their responsibility to consider the reliability
    of the source, question the accuracy of the
    information, and confirm for themselves any news
    item that seems suspect. A reading public with
    these skills will be well-informed,
    scientifically literate, and discerning consumers
    of the media.
  • Caracungan, C. Kelly, S. (2002). The truth
    behind the tabloids. Science Scope, 27. 8-11.

Big Six Skills
  • 1. Task Definition
  • What needs to be done?
  • What is expected from the assignment
  • 2. Information Seeking Strategies
  • What sources can I use? Once you know whats
    expected of you, you need to identify the sources
    you need to solve the task.
  • This step is thinking about the sources, not
    actually finding the sources yet.

Big Six Skills
  • Location and Access
  • Where can I find those sources? You must find
    potentially useful sources.
  • This is the implementation of Information Seeking
    Strategies - 2.
  • Use of Information
  • What can I use from these sources?
  • What do I have to do with the information?

Big Six Skills
  • 5. Synthesis
  • What can I make to finish the job?
  • Repackage the information to meet the
    requirements of the assignment. What product does
    the assignment require?
  • Produce personally designed products to
    communicate content.
  • 6. Evaluation
  • How will I know I did my job well?
  • Did I do what I was suppose to do?

(No Transcript)
Exasperating presentations
Presentations that are a privilege to attend
Adults Learn Best When
  • They have input into the selection of the content
    and even development of the learning experiences
  • The learning is connected to the vast background
    of knowledge and experience that the adult brings
    to the table
  • The learning is both received and processed in
    more than one way
  • The learning is collegial and directed at solving
    specific job-related problems
  • They have ample opportunity to reflect on the
    implementation of new competencies

Brainstorming and DiscussionStrategy 1
  • Dialogue enables adults to achieve deeper meaning
    and understanding because they can utilize the
    skills of inquiry, reflection, and exploration.
  • Example Participants are given a question to
    which there may be multiple answers. They
    brainstorm to generate multiple ideas.

Drawing and ArtworkStrategy 2
  • Expressing oneself artistically has extreme value
    for total cognitive and personal development.
  • Example Participants illustrate the meanings of
    specific concepts of content-area vocabulary to
    facilitate retention.

Field TripsStrategy 3
  • Critical thinking skills can be improved by
    getting participants out of the classroom and
    into the real world.
  • Example Virtual field trips can provide many of
    the same cognitive and affective benefits as an
    actual field trip. Participants view a distance
    learning telecast concerning a particular course

GamesStrategy 4
  • Appropriate games facilitate problem solving,
    cooperation, movement, and even self-discovery.
  • Example Construct a facsimile of Jeopardy! By
    selecting important facts related to the
    objectives of the course.

Graphic OrganizersStrategy 5
  • Graphic organizers can be referred to as power
    pictures because they paint important pictures on
    the brain.
  • Examples Venn diagrams, web organizers, pie
    charts, sequence charts, etc.
  • Participants could use a Venn diagram
  • (2 interlocking circles) anytime two parallel
    concepts are being compared or contrasted.

Humor and CelebrationStrategy 6
  • Humor enlivens participants, reduces tension, and
    increases productivity and creativity.
  • Example Reinforce a concept to be taught by
    locating or creating cartoons, riddles, or jokes
    and integrating them into instruction.

Manipulatives and ModelsStrategy 7
  • The most effective teaching techniques for
    increasing intelligence unite both mind and body.
  • Example Participants demonstrate tactically
    their agreement or disagreement with an answer or
    their levels of understanding for an answer by
    doing one of the following
  • Thumbs up agree Thumbs down dont
  • Five fingers completely understand One
    finger Dont understand

Metaphors, Analogies, and SimilesStrategy 8
  • Metaphors are a natural way for the brain to
    construct new knowledge and acquire meaning.
  • Example Participants write metaphors that
    symbolize their understanding of two unrelated
    concepts. They explain the relationship between
    the two concepts to a partner.
  • The brain is a computer. Participants describe
    the similarities between the human brain and a
  • (e.g. both have ways to access long-term memory)

Mnemonic DevicesStrategy 9
  • People are better at applying factual information
    when they acquire that information through
    mnemonic strategies. (brain short cuts)
  • Example Participants work individually or in
    cooperative groups to create their own mnemonic
    devices such as the order of the planets My Very
    Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.

MovementStrategy 10
  • Movement places knowledge at multiple addresses
    in the brain.
  • Example In a Carousel activity, one topic
    (related to a bigger theme that is being taught)
    is written on 4 posters and placed at 4 locations
    in the room. Divide participants into 4 groups.
    Each group moves to a different poster, appoints
    a recorder, and is given 2 minutes to brainstorm
    as many things as they can remember about the
    topic on that poster. After 2 minutes, groups
    move clockwise to the next poser and add to the
    content already written. The carousel ends when
    each group has responded to all 4 posters.

Music, Rhythm, Rhyme, and RapStrategy 11
  • Music connects multiple brain sites by activating
    and synchronizing neurons firing patterns.
  • Example Play appropriate classical, jazz, or
    another type of calming music as participants
    enter the classroom. Music will help to establish
    a supportive environment and assist participants
    in relaxing and reading themselves for the
    upcoming instruction.

Project- and Problem-Based InstructionStrategy 12
  • People retain and apply information in meaningful
    ways when that information is connected to
    real-life experiences.
  • Example Following a workshop or course segment,
    assign a follow-up project through which
    participants can implement the concepts learned
    during instruction.

Reciprocal Teaching, Cooperative Learning, and
Peer CoachingStrategy 13
  • Cooperative learning, rather than lecture,
    enables students to gain insights from one
    another, broaden high-level reasoning, and become
    a nation of student who think.
  • Example Each participant turns to a close
    partner and reteaches a concept that the teacher
    has just presented or provides a summary of the
    key points in a class discussion.

COOPERATIVE LEARNINGAlthough programs vary
slightly, three rules are generally in operation
when students are working cooperatively
  • You are responsible for your own work and
  • You must be willing to help any group member who
  • You may ask for help from the teacher only when
    everyone in your group has the same question

Role-Plays, Drama, Pantomimes, and
CharadesStrategy 14
  • When learners take on multiple roles, learning is
    integrated and therefore enhanced.
  • Example Participants work in groups to write
    and present an impromptu television commercial
    regarding information learned in class. The goal
    of the commercial is to persuade the audience to
    purchase a service or buy the information

StorytellingStrategy 15
  • Information is tied in our memories to the
    scripts that stories provide.
  • Activity Create stories throughout the course
    that teach pertinent concepts or ideas that you
    want participants to remember. These stories
    preferably should derive from your personal
    experiences so that you can be sure your
    participants have not previously heard the story.

TechnologyStrategy 16
  • A curriculum that is technologically based is
    more complex, visual, specific, global, and
  • On-ling learning should be used to enhance
    face-to-face learning. There is no virtual
    learning miracle that will eradicate the need for
  • Example Establish electronic learning teams
    that give participants opportunities to discuss
    pertinent issues, share experiences, or provide
    coaching to one another.

VisualizationStrategy 17
  • Visualization improves our ability to problem
    solve before, during, and after the learning or
    application of a task.
  • Example Participants view a vocabulary word,
    math formula, or science process written on the
    board. The visual is removed and participants
    visualize the previous concept and jot it down on
    their papers. They then compare their
    visualizations with those of a peer.

VisualsStrategy 18
  • Because the eyes send millions of signals per
    second to be processed in the visual centers of
    the brain, the brain takes in more information
    visually than through any of the other sense.
  • Example Place visuals on the walls that support
    the concepts you are teaching. These could
    include posters, a sample agenda, key vocabulary
    terms, cartoons, positive messages, and so forth.

Writing and ReflectionStrategy 20
  • Complicated, multiple bits of information from
    presentations and observations can be organized
    and made easier to understand when written down.
  • Example Participants write as many words and
    phrases as they can recall following the
    presentation of a chunk of information. They
    compare their list with that of a classmate and
    add any words or phrases from their partners
    list to their own.

AssessmentComes from Latin asidére, which means
to sit by as an assistant judge.
  • Decide
  • What learning you value
  • What skills you want students to develop
  • What kind of attitude you want them to display
  • How do you know they got it?

Classroom Management(Always an issue ?)
Challenges of team teaching
What will they remember?How will they feel about
the learning?
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