Here is something to ponder as you think about your lab experiences this year: I have been using an excellent inquiry lab for the past few years. I think it does a fabulous job guiding the students through the amazing (yet often dull to students) world of specific heat equations and learning about calorimetry. However, this semester, I returned to the old, traditional calorimetry lab. I wanted to see if the inquiry lab really did make a difference. I think it does! I attempted to guide my students through the traditional lab using some guiding questions, but it was difficult and there was a high level of frustration. I was tempted to give my students the answers, or to explain everything to them instead of guiding them and allowing them to discover it for themselves.
Do you have any thoughts to share? Have you ever returned to your old ways? What happened? I look forward to hearing from you as you enjoy these summer days!