In the weeks that follow

As I'm sitting here at my local QuarkNet workshop and a week away from seeing students again I am reflecting on all that I was able to do and learn at the ISE Summer School in Greece.  We obviously had a great time running around Marathon and Athens while we were there but the most important part was what we learned (although that doesn't make for great photos).

The focus of the week was Inquiry Based Learning.  The European system for inquiry seems to be much more structured.  The inquiry system breaks down every lesson/activity into five disticnt sections: orienting and asking questions, hypothesis generation and design, planning and investigation, analysis and interpretation, and conclusion and evalutation.  These five sections have since been condesed down into four sections, however I think the original five are just fine and match up with the resource I will introduce later.  At the end of each section a series of questions are posed to the students.  All of these questions are technically correct but are designed to show varying levels of understanding; low, middle, and high.  A low level understanding gets the basics of the lesson being taught and how that information applies to the experiment/activity at hand.  A high level of understanding demonstrates not only an understanding of the content being presented but also its implications outside of the experiment/activity; for instance, effects on the enviroment, government, etc.  Before attending this summer school I had not seen and inquiry lesson so structured, nor a set of questions with all correct answers. 

We spent a good amount of time working on the Open Discovery Spcae website which allowed us to examine and create inquiry lessons within this five section format.  It doest take a bit of time to create a lesson within this template, however you are able to access any published lesson that someone has contributed on this site.  This is a great resource for anyone trying to bring more inquiry into the classroom.

If you are interested in the Open Discovery Space website you can find the link here:

For information about creating your own lesson on the Open Discovery Space website you can find the information here:

Good luck to you all as we reach the end of our summers.

Meaghan Berry

Nashville, TN