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ERIC Number: EJ980138
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Framing Inquiry in High School Chemistry: Helping Students See the Bigger Picture
Criswell, Brett
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n2 p199-205 Jan 2012
Inquiry has been advocated as an effective pedagogical strategy for promoting deep conceptual understanding and more sophisticated scientific thinking by numerous bodies associated with chemistry (and science) education. To allow inquiry to achieve these goals, the teacher must manage the amount of cognitive load experienced by students while they engage in inquiry activities. This article can help teachers address that challenge by discussing the notion of framing (a form of scaffolding) and by presenting a model designed to help teachers more effectively frame inquiry activities. Using the metaphor of a picture frame, the model introduces five components of the framing process that can be employed by teachers as guidelines for developing the background information they will share with students prior to an inquiry activity. Those components are context, goals, actions, tools, and interactions. Providing students with such a carefully developed background can better orient them to the purpose of the inquiry activity, put boundaries on the problem space they will be exploring, and reduce the cognitive load as they engage in the activity, all of which should improve the inquiry learning experience. (Contains 1 figure.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A