Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Inquiry-Based Learning in China: Lesson Learned for School Science Practices

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Inquiry-Based Learning in China: Lesson Learned for School Science Practices

Article excerpt


Inquiry-based learning is widely considered for science education in this era. This study aims to explore inquiry-based learning in teacher preparation program and the findings will help us to understanding what inquiry-based classroom is and how inquiry-based learning are. Data were collected by qualitative methods; classroom observation, videotape recording, photography, and interview were employed during time of visiting Guangxi Normal University, China. The results can be explained in terms of lesson learned for school science practice of inquiry-based learning and pedagogical strategies. It can be understandable, simply to incorporate for general science classroom, and also be implied to inquiry-based instructional practices.

Keywords: inquiry-based learning, pedagogy, instruction, science teaching, inquiry, scientific inquiry, China

1. Introduction

The current pedagogical approaches in which we need to introduce for 21st century should make a suitable response in both teacher and student roles. It has to gain students to have much more critical thinking and necessary skills to survive in the world of information technology richness and in the world of rapidly changing (Holbrook & Rannikmäe, 2009). Teachers should pay attention of what teaching and learning works in terms of students involvement as well as they should understanding natural world through constructivist views, rather than emphasize on contents or theories for examination (Prawat, 1992; Blumenfeld et al., 1994; Nuangchalerm, 2011; Nuangchalerm, 2012). Students should have learning inquiry of what fruitful knowledge for daily life and also necessary skills in which they employ as a learning tools (van Driel et al., 1998; Anderson, 2002). Students are learning constructor; teacher is facilitator in science teaching. The pedagogical approach should provide students to have space for accommodating scientific concepts that will help them to have strongly faced with social and cultural involvements (Aikenhead, 2001; Nuangchalerm, 2009a; Ferriera & Gendron, 2011; Yang & Chen, 2013).

The science teaching is growing with the terms of inquiry-based learning, the constructivist view is recognized. Inquiry-based learning is should not be limited in only school science by content emphasized, but also the process of science should be conducted by means of engaging students to understand nature of science (Abd-El-Khalick et al., 1998; Aikenhead, 2001; Bell & Lederman, 2003; Nuangchalerm, 2010; Lederman et al., 2012; Tytler, 2012). Science teaching should be allowed the ways that modern science operates, use the laboratory to assist students learn science concepts in terms of inquiry format (Schwab, 1966). Students will be developed concepts, thinking abilities, science process skills, argumentation, habit of mind, and understandings in nature of science. That is, the goal of science education and characters of learning person in the 21st century. Teachers should bring beliefs that teaching is process to stimulate learning behaviors; it is not just the process of knowledge transmitter. The changing world is more complex, more situations in which no solution to solve it (Vieira et al., 2011). We have to integrate scientific knowledge and science process skills that inquiry-based learning is the answer for science school practices as well.

This instructional approach can be considered teachers as a key person to engage students meet scientific knowledge and understanding about nature of science through inquiry-based instruction. The starting point cannot be denied the process of teacher preparation program because if pre-service teachers did not understand or imply it to classroom, the effective instruction will be failed (Lederman, 1992; Lederman, 1996; Southerland et al., 2006; Nuangchalerm, 2009b; Opara & Oguzor, 2011). Teachers anchor their understanding in science classroom and more than theories and propositional knowledge (Krajcik et al. …

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