ASQ - Education Division

How Do We Know? Inquiry-based Front Ends for Conventional Topic Treatments in STEM Textbooks

Abstract: This conference paper is authored by David Schuster, Physics Department and Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University. It is included in the 2013 Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference proceedings.

Most conventional science textbooks present what we know, as an established body of knowledge, but little if anything of how we know. Science is presented largely as product, with the inquiry practices of science largely absent. To remedy this imbalance, we have been devising inquiry-based ‘front ends’ for use in instruction as precursors to direct textbook treatments. We illustrate the issue with an example of a direct textbook exposition of refraction, and then show this can be enhanced with an inquiry-based conceptual introduction to the topic. Similar inquiry-based front ends are being developed for other science topics.

Keywords: STEM - Conference Proceedings - Teaching Quality

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