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Nur Faiqah Hamzah TG 6 Reflection on the Inquiry in Science and in Classroom

QCS501 5 September 2011


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In the ever-changing environment attributed to the advent of technology, the methods of yesteryear no longer comply with the standards in the classroom. Gone are the days where memorising data was the cornerstone in learning. The pervasiveness of technology has called for a new generation, a generation of useful and applicable knowledge. With this vein in mind, the teaching of science is not spared from this dilemma. Science teachers are forced to come up with new ways to stretch the students thinking capacity. This is where inquirybased teaching comes into play. Inquiry-based teaching emphasizes on students curiosity. Pursuing the curiosity independently or structured by teacher is greatly encouraged. Granted, inquiry-based learning would be easier if all students are equipped with a vast store of knowledge, either previously taught or gathered through self-directed learning. In a science classroom, students can be geared towards this form of learning when teachers deviate from the traditional spoonfeeding. Instead, they can provide opportunities for students to explore and understand the concepts learnt through structured inquiry or free-ranging exploration. There are several techniques of inquiry-based teaching: inquiry-discovery, project-based science instruction and technology-enhanced curriculum, just to name a few. The objectives of such teaching are to ensure that students widen their vocabulary knowledge, are able to understand and apply concepts, think and inquire critically, are familiar with science processes, comprehend the nature of scientific inquiry and grasp of applications of science on societal and personal issues. This list of objectives is not exhaustive; they are merely the tip of the ice-berg. With the aforementioned in mind, it is important for me, as a science teacher, to promote inquiry-based learning. However, it is easy said than done. For a start, I will constantly have to structure my lessons so as to engage students curiosity and encourage them to question critically. By posing questions related to the forthcoming or previous topic, curiosity can be piqued. Therefore, students can be stimulated to conduct independent study in order to assuage their curiosity. Learning trails is another viable way to allow students minds to explore and observe science in their everyday environment. From this, they can explore any topic freely for projects, and only be scaffold when they face difficulties. The possibilities of establishing an inquiry-based classroom are endless. When the opportunity comes, I hope to implement the various techniques I have learnt, hopefully to a roaring success.