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Inquiry-Based Approach to Science Education

April 11, 2007

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) science consultants are leading the way in the revolution in science education. Through an effort known as “Every Learner Inquires” (ELI), AEA staff are providing training and support to local science educators in an effort to ensure that students have the skills they need to become problem solvers as adults.

The vision of the Every Learner Inquires (ELI) project is one in which all students engage in investigating significant questions in supportive, collegial learning communities. Inquiry-based science moves students from thinking of science as a collection of facts to be memorized or explanations related to isolated incidences, to thinking of science as a process to gain in-depth understanding about how the world works. Students will come to deeply understand important science ideas and master complex skills and reasoning processes that are essential to scientific literacy.

As society moves into the 21st century, students need to develop skills that will allow them to learn new technologies that arise within society, and become problem solvers who can improve the world around them. Mississippi Bend AEA science consultants guide local educators through the process.

A team of K-12 science teachers and administrators from the Calamus-Wheatland School District, the Davenport School’s K-12 Science Coordinator, and Mississippi Bend AEA science consultants assist the local development of the ELI initiative. Cal-Wheat Elementary teachers join with secondary staff on the front lines to learn all they can about inquiry by attending ELI seminars and practicing applications within their science classrooms. They share what they are learning through discussions at the ELI seminars, through use of a web board, and by peer observations.

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