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Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning
ways that students may find meaningful topics to pursue, for example, current topics in the media, local problems, and personal experiences. She also knows that initially some experiences may not be highly engaging, but active involvement by its very nature has some meaning. Over several years of teaching experience, Ms. Idoni has decided that for a majority of students an initial field trip provides the most meaningful context for beginning the inquiry.
Inquiry-based teaching requires careful attention to creating learning environments and experiences where students can confront new ideas, deepen their understandings, and learn to think logically and critically about the world around them. This chapter has suggested some ways to “see” inquiry in classrooms. The next chapter turns to how teachers learn to achieve and assess the wide range of outcomes they strive for in their use of inquiry.