Teacher roles during inquiry-based teaching in the early-years
Many teachers are at a loss when required to use inquiry-based teaching / learning in their classrooms. Yet, most teachers would agree that investigative science via inquiry based teaching and learning is a highly effective way to teach science. Students build their scientific understanding and investigative skills through scientific inquiry where they make connections between prior knowledge and new ideas – but what role does the teacher play in this? There is a long list of authors who describe inquiry-based lessons in classrooms. However much of this is in relation to the student during the inquiry teaching / learning process (e.g. the Learning Cycle; 5E’s and 4E x 2), with scant research available providing a description of the role of the teacher. The descriptions that are available are quite broad and possibly of little use to a teacher who is seeking a detailed or step by step guide for open inquiry pedagogies. This paper will therefore use classroom studies to describe, the role of the teacher in the initial stages of an inquiry based teaching / learning project.
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