Teachers often hear that students cannot think critically, ask thoughtful questions, or analyze text. While many students may find this challenging, teaching through inquiry is an effective way to engage students, improve their problem solving skills, and help them achieve long-term concept retention. Inquiry enhances scientific literacy by engaging students in logic, scientific rationale and argumentation. Moreover, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) efforts emphasize the importance of inquiry in science education. But what does inquiry look like, how is it successfully done in the classroom, and how does a traditional science classroom evolve into an inquiry-based classroom?


This course is intended for upper elementary and middle school teachers (grades 3-8) who want to learn how to successfully implement scientific inquiry in their classrooms.  After taking this course, the teacher will have an understanding of what inquiry is and the benefits of inquiry-based teaching and learning. The teacher will learn how to transform activities and experiments to be inquiry-based investigations and learn how to assess inquiry. Additionally, the course presents a developmentally appropriate, step-by-step approach for using all levels of scientific inquiry with argumentation. By the end of this course, the teacher will be able to effectively transform his or her current classroom into an inquiry-based environment where students are supported and inspired to learn.