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Personal inquiry: orchestrating science investigations within and beyond the classroom

Sharples, Mike; Scanlon, Eileen; Ainsworth, Shaaron; Anastopoulou, Stamatina; Collins, Trevor; Crook, Charles; Jones, Ann; Kerawalla, Lucinda; Littleton, Karen; Mulholland, Paul and O'Malley, Claire (2015). Personal inquiry: orchestrating science investigations within and beyond the classroom. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24(2) pp. 308–341.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2014.944642
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Abstract

A central challenge for science educators is to enable young people to act as scientists by gathering and assessing evidence, conducting experiments, and engaging in informed debate. We report the design of the nQuire toolkit, a system to support scripted personal inquiry learning, and a study of its use with school students ages 11–14. This differs from previous work on inquiry learning by its emphasis on learners investigating topics of personal significance supported by a computer-based toolkit to guide school pupils through an entire inquiry process that connects structured learning in the classroom with discovery and data collection at home or outdoors. Findings from the studies indicate that the toolkit was successfully adopted by teachers and pupils in contexts that included teacher-directed lessons, an after-school club, field trips, and learner-managed homework. It effectively supported the transition between individual, group, and whole-class activities and supported learning across formal and informal settings. We discuss issues raised by the intervention studies, including how the combination of technology and pedagogy provided support for the teacher despite difficulties in managing the technology and integrating field data into a classroom lesson. We also discuss the difficulty of altering young people’s attitudes to science.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 The Authors
ISSN: 1532-7809
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Personal Inquiry (PI): Designing for Evidence-based Inquiry Learning across Formal and Informal Settings. RES-139-25-0382ESRC/PSRC
Extra Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Childhood Studies
Item ID: 41623
Depositing User: Mike Sharples
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2015 11:22
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2017 08:55
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/41623
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