ERIC Number: EJ722115
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reforming Cookbook Labs
Science Scope, v29 n3 p16-21 Nov-Dec 2005
Deconstructing cookbook labs to require the students to be more thoughtful could break down perceived teacher barriers to inquiry learning. Simple steps that remove or disrupt the direct transfer of step-by-step procedures in cookbook labs make students think more critically about their process. Through trials in the author's middle school physical science classes, high school physics classes, and high school Earth science classes, she has developed 11 different ways of altering cookbook labs so that students understand the intention of the procedure. The altered labs do not fully achieve the status of inquiry lab, but they are a step toward allowing more open-ended discovery. The changes to the labs described in this article progress from most structured to least structured. From the author's experience of sharing these techniques at national teacher conferences, she believes that teachers who reform cookbook labs are more likely to adopt inquiry-based labs in the future. Reforming cookbook labs into critical-thinking labs could be the intermediate step that helps teachers reach the goal of providing inquiry-based opportunities for their students.
Descriptors: Educational Change, Earth Science, Physics, Science Laboratories, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Critical Thinking, Science Education
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A