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Recent publications, including Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2009) and A New Biology for the…
Recent publications, including Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2009) and A New Biology for the 21st Century (National Research Council, 2009), highlight needed changes for undergraduate science education. These include a shift away from traditionally structured lab courses toward more authentic scientific inquiry experiences in undergraduate science laboratories. The aim of these reform initiatives is for students to develop not only conceptual understanding of the big ideas of science but also the skills required to conduct an investigation and an understanding of science as a human process of constructing scientific knowledge (National Research Council, 2011). The work that we describe here examines the challenges and successes of engaging nonscience majors in a large introductory university-level science course in conducting scientific inquiry. To understand the course structure and the nature of the laboratory experiences, we describe two different lab experiences. In both cases, students engaged in guided inquiry and then were asked to engage in a more open-ended inquiry experience. Our findings suggest that students need significant scaffolding to make the transition from more guided inquiry to more open-ended inquiry.
This chapter provides an introduction to how the inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach is being used by colleges and universities around the world to improve faculty and…
This chapter provides an introduction to how the inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach is being used by colleges and universities around the world to improve faculty and institutional development and to strengthen the interconnections between teaching, learning, and research. This chapter provides a synthesis and analysis of all the chapters in the volume, which present a range of perspectives, case studies, and empirical research on how IBL is being used across a range of courses across a range of institutions to enhance faculty and institutional development. This chapter argues that the IBL approach has great potential to enhance and transform teaching and learning. Given the growing demands placed on education to meet a diverse range of complex political, economic, and social problems and personal needs, this chapter argues that education should be a place where lifelong and lifewide learning is cultivated and where self-directed learning is nurtured. To that end, this chapter argues that IBL helps cultivate a learning environment that is more meaningful, responsive, integrated, and purposeful.