This week I talked with Alice Putti who teaches Chemistry and AP Chem in West Michigan. Below are her answers to our inquiry questions:
Q1: How do you define inquiry? or What does inquiry look like to you?
A1 : Inquiry learning is where students are developing their own knowledge through new experiences and exploration. In my class this in usually in the form of an introductory activity. Students incorporate prior knowledge and a shared classroom experience to develop a new concept.
Q2: What are the benefits of using inquiry in your classroom?
A2: Students are activity developing the concept rather than just memorizing information from lecture or the textbook. Students all have a shared experience that can be revisited throughout the year.
Q3: What are the hindrances of using inquiry in your classroom?
A3: Time is a big hinderance. It takes time to properly develop chemistry concepts. Another problem can be getting students to "buy into" this methodology.
Q4: How often do you use inquiry?
A4: I try to use it at least once a unit in my chemistry class.
Thanks for your insight, Alice!