Student-Generated Scientific Inquiry

Developed by: Leslie Atkins

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

 Intro College Conceptual

Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Waves / Optics  Thermal / Statistical  Astronomy  Other Science
Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Lab  Studio

What? A curriculum for pre-service teachers. Students craft and investigate their own scientific questions about a range of scientific topics. The course is modeled on a research lab, with students working on projects in small groups and sharing findings during whole-class "research-group" meetings.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Making real-world connections
  • Using multiple representations
  • Designing experiments
Can be adapted for:
  • Conceptual understanding

Instructor effort required

  • High

Resources required

  • Advanced lab equipment

Intro Article: I. Salter and L. Atkins Elliott, Student-Generated Scientific Inquiry for Elementary Education Undergraduates: Course Development, Outcomes and Implications, J. Sci. Teach. Educ. 24 (1), 157 (2013).
Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication