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Inquiry-based Education: Exploration and Encouragement | Preparation and Retention | Science and Mathematics Education Standards
Inquiry-based Education: Exploration and Encouragement
The following references explore inquiry-based teaching, and describe reasons for its necessary omnipresence in the science classroom. Discussions range from the shortcomings of lecture-based presentation to the technical standards for well-conducted reformed teaching.  

Adamson, A.E., Banks, D., Burtch, M., Cox III, F., Judson, E., Turley, J.B., Benford, R. & Lawson, A.E. (2003). Reformed Undergraduate Instruction and Its Subsequent Impact on Secondary School Teaching Practice and Student Achievement. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 40(10), 939-958.

Piburn, M., Sawada, D., Falconer, K., Turley, J. Benford, R., Bloom, I. (2000). Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). ACEPT IN-003. The RTOP rubric form, training manual and reference manual containing statistical analyses, are all available from <http://PhysicsEd.BuffaloState.Edu/AZTEC/rtop/RTOP_full/PDF/>. IN-001 contains the RTOP rubric alone, IN-002 constains rubric and training manual, IN-003 adds the statistical analyses.

Sawada, D., Piburn, M., Judson, E., Turley, J., Falconer, K., Benford, R. & Bloom, I. (2002). Measuring reform practices in science and mathematics classrooms: The Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol. School Science and Mathematics, 102(6), 245-253.

MacIsaac, D.L. & Falconer, K.A. (2002, November). Reforming physics education via RTOP. The Physics Teacher 40(8), 479-485. Available from <>, describes physics-specific RTOP use.

MacIsaac, D.L. & Falconer, K.A. (2001-3). Wxx: RTOP Workshops for Physics Teachers. AAPT Announcer. One day (7 hour) workshops held yearly at the AAPT National Summer Meetings. See <>.

A Palm-OS version of RTOP intended for use on Palm handhelds linked to PCs running MS Windows is newly available from CRESMET at ASU, or from <>.

The Arizona Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers (ACEPT). ACEPT is described at <> and the NSF CETP collaboratives maintain a continuing centralized electronic archive at <>. ACEPT goals have been largely supplanted by the more recent and much larger Arizona Teacher Excellence Coalition (AzTEC), see <>, with most ACEPT participants continuing in AzTEC.

Wyckoff, S. (2001). Changing the culture of undergraduate science teaching. Journal of College Science Teaching, XXX (6). Describes ACEPT, limited value of lecture in teaching physics, interactive engagement.

Lawson, A. E., Benford, R., Bloom, I., Carlson, M. P., Falconer, K. F., Hestenes, D. O., Judson, E., Piburn, M. D., Sawada, D., Turley, J., & Wyckoff, S. (2002, Mar-Apr). Evaluating College Science and Mathematics Instruction: A Reform Effort That Improves teaching Skills. Journal of College Science Teaching, 31(6), 388-93. Discusses links between RTOP scores and student achievement gains for six physical science and four university physics classes, amongst many others.

Linn, R. L. (2000) Assessments and accountability, Educational Researcher; 29 (2), 4-16.

Hake, R.R (1998). Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66(1), 64-74. Also Hake, R. (1998). Interactive-engagement methods in introductory mechanics courses, submitted to the "Physics Education Research Supplement to AJP" (PERS), both available at <>.

Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T. & Smith, K.A. (1991). Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. : Edina, MN: Interaction Book Co. This includes a review of cooperative learning literature, reporting several benefits including student achievement gains of 0.88 standard deviation across many studies. CL is also described at <>.

Heller, P., Keith, R. & Anderson, S. (1992). Teaching problem solving through cooperative grouping, Part 1: Group vs. individual problem solving. American Journal of Physics, 60, 627-636.

Heller, P., & Hollabaugh, M., (1992). Teaching problem solving through cooperative grouping, Part 2: Designing problems and structuring groups. American Journal of Physics, 60, 637-644.

Laws, P. (1995). Workshop physics activity guide. NY: Wiley. The prototypical MBL curriculum, workshop physics eschews lectures. See also Laws, P. (1991). Calculus-based physics without lectures. Physics Today, 44(12) 24-31.

Mazur, E. (1997). Peer instruction: A user’s manual. Prentice-Hall series in educational innovation. NJ: Prentice-hall. See also <> and Mazur’s project Galileo website <>.

Wells, M., Hestenes, D. & Swackhamer, G. (1995). A modeling method for high school physics instruction. American Journal of Physics, 64, 114-119. Available at <>. The Modeling Curriculum including whiteboard activities is freely downloadable from <>.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1997). (Original Revised and edited, A. Kozulin). Thought and language. Cambridge: MIT.

Hunter, M. (1982). Mastery teaching: Increasing instructional effectiveness in secondary schools, colleges and universities. El Segundo, CA: TIP Pubs. EEI is also described at <> and <>.

Barnett, J. & Hodson, D. (2001). Pedagogical context knowledge: Towards a fuller understanding of what good science teachers know. Science Education 85(4), 426.

Arons, A.B. (1997). Teaching introductory physics. NY: Wiley.

Whiteboard learning strategies are described at <>. Commercially manufactured whiteboards can be purchased from Playscapes, Inc (800) 248-7529 for under $10 each or you can locally manufacture adequate versions for about $2 each. An overview of whiteboard theory and some student reactions is available at <>.

Layman, J.W., Ochoa, G. & Heikkinen, H. (1996). Inquiry and learning: Realizing science standards in the classroom. NY: The College Board.

Trowbridge, D.E. and McDermott, L.C. (1981). Investigation of student understanding of the concept of acceleration in one dimension. American Journal of Physics, 49, 242-253.

Minstrell, J. (2000). Implications for teaching and learning inquiry: A summary. In Minstrell, J and van Zee, E.H. (2000) (Eds). Inquiring into inquiry learning and teaching in science. Washington DC: AAAS.


Preparation and Retention in Science and Mathematics
These authors explore the reasons why students fail to excel in science, and may eventually avoid the discipline altogether. 

Seymour, E. (1996). Guest comment: Why undergraduates leave the sciences. American Journal of Physics, 63, 199-202.

Tobias, S. (1990). They’re not dumb, they’re different: Stalking the second tier. Tucson: The Research Corporation.

Sadler, P.M. & Tai, R.H. (2001). Success in introductory college physics: The role of high school preparation. Science Education, 85(3), 111-137.


Science and Mathematics Education Standards
Organized from inital efforts to the most recent documents. The AAAS initially attempted to address issues by creating a framework of standards. The NCTM was similar, but was dedicated to mathematics. The NRC standards (most recent) are broad-based, and involve wide-ranging input from the gamut of stakeholders (parents, educators, et al). 

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (1989). Project 2061: Science for All Americans: A Project 2061 Report on Literacy Goals in Science, Mathematics, and Technology. Washington, D.C.: AAAS. <>

AAAS (1993). Project 2061: Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Washington, D.C.: AAAS.<>

National Council Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) (1989). Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM. <>

NCTM (1991). Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.

NCTM (1995). Assessment Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM <>.

NCTM (2000). Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM. <

National Research Council (NRC) (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press <>.

NRC (1999). Designing mathematics or science curriculum programs: A guide for using mathematics and science education standards. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. <>.

NRC (1999). Global perspectives for local action: Using TIMSS to improve US Mathematics and Science Education. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. <>.

NRC (2000). Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. <>.

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