Standards and Inquiry or Standards vs Inquiry?

In my grad program one of our discussions concerned how to teach science the way science is actually done.  This seems to be one of the core ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards.  The standards want to encourage students to think more like scientists and engineers as opposed to students seeking an A.  Please share your thoughts!  Do you think inquiry better reflects "the real world" and if so, how?  

1 comment. Join the conversation.


Marsilio Langella | Sat, 12/14/2013 - 12:24

In order for guided inquiry to be successful the key is to develop " Framing Labs" . Labs that build the skills necessary for the Guided Inquiry labs to be successful.In the  educational systems in the US,  we look for the quick fix or the new novel approach as the answer to the problem. Tell me an engineer that does not know the fundamentals of material science.

Our approach must be to address the activities that we know where successful in the past  and try to develop ways of having our students complete these classic activities more efficiently, with less contact time, with less less cost, " Green Chemistry" . Then this will allow us to develop those great guided inquiry labs which will add a very important tool in our tool box as science educators.

The question is how.

First Miniscale our activities. Redesign methods which will allow our students to use these new techniques to solve the inquiry lab.

The problem is we always go to the extreme for example  microscale  labs that count drops rather than use measuring devices.

Flipping Lectures for all lessons rather than have some lessons always be more personal and based on the formative assessment. Powerpoint lessons for all lessons. Smart boards for all .  I wonder without powerpoints and smartboards how we were able to develop the great scientists from the past.

We need to realize that there are many tools in the toolbox to choose from and each tool is effective for that certain lesson and not for all. By coming to this realization we may be able to accomplish the transition to the 21st century learner.


Marsilio ( Mark) Langella
Colllege Board AP Chemistry Consultant
AP Chemistry Instructor , Mahopac HS