NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1057136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: EISSN-1446-6120
Connecting Inquiry and the Nature of Science
Peters, Erin
Science Education Review, v5 n2 p37-44 2006
Inquiry has been one of the most prominent reforms in science education. One of the goals of teaching through inquiry methods is to enable students to have experiences that are authentic to scientists' experiences. Too often, inquiry science is taught as either the "scientific method" or as "hands-on," disconnected activities (Bybee, 2004), which is only a sliver of the continuum of experiences inquiry science offers. Quality inquiry investigations can be implemented by using the aspects of the nature of science, the inherent understanding that scientists use to generate knowledge, as a guide. Often, process skills and the nature of science are confused due to their close relationship. Process skills are necessary for inquiry science, but do not provide the underlying concepts that guide the development of scientific knowledge. The aspects of the nature of science provide the rationale for the importance of process skills and how these skills are used to develop new scientific knowledge. The research literature converges on seven aspects of the nature of science that defines science as a discipline: 1. Scientific knowledge is durable, yet tentative; 2. empirical evidence is used to support ideas in science; 3. social and historical factors play a role in the construction of scientific knowledge; 4. laws and theories play a central role in developing scientific knowledge, yet they have different functions; 5. accurate record keeping, peer review, and replication of experiments help to validate scientific ideas; 6. science is a creative endeavor; and 7. science and technology are not the same, but they impact each other (Lederman & Lederman, 2005; McComas, 2005). Each aspect of the nature of science is discussed in detail, with examples demonstrating how to explicitly incorporate the nature of science into classroom inquiry investigations. Teachers can help students learn to independently monitor their own learning and think scientifically by using the nature of science as a guide for inquiry investigations.
Science Time Education. 570 Womina-Willowvale Road, Warwick, Queensland 4370, Australia. Tel: +61-7-46673786; Fax: +61-7-46673786; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A