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ERIC Number: EJ819446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Supporting Development of the Epistemology of Inquiry
Lehrer, Richard; Schauble, Leona; Lucas, Deborah
Cognitive Development, v23 n4 p512-529 Oct-Dec 2008
A sixth-grade class investigated the ecologies of two local retention ponds over the course of one school year. In this context, instruction assisted development as students designed models of the pond in one-gallon jars and attempted to stabilize these jars in sustainable ecosystems that could be used to study questions about the ponds. Unintended outcomes (e.g., algal blooms, bacteria colonies) became opportunities to learn how aquatic systems function. Efforts to model aquatic functioning were complemented by weekly research meetings that served as a forum for conjecture and test of relations between evidence and questions. At the end of the year students responded to individual interviews about their understandings of ecology and research design, along with their beliefs about the epistemology of inquiry. Results suggest that participation in carefully crafted, extended investigations transformed students' views of the goals and purposes of inquiry and of the nature of science.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 6
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A