Date of Award

12-2005

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Edward Brazee

Second Committee Member

Susan Hunter

Third Committee Member

Herman Weller

Abstract

As teachers implement the National Science Education Standards (1996) many must change the instructional methods they have used throughout their careers. This handbook will assist teachers to be facilitators in inquiry-based classrooms. The nine units of this handbook have been implemented for three years in an eighth grade classroom and have been used and modified by three different teachers to meet their own needs. The units in this handbook were chosen by MSAD #3, Unity, Maine, to reflect the curriculum requirements of The State of Maine Learning Results (1997). Included in this handbook are physics units covering motion, forces, work, and energy, with an in-depth study of electromagnetic and chemical energy, and a unit in human anatomy and physiology. An emphasis is placed on teens and their health during the discussion of the systems of the body. This handbook relies on the mandate from Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993) and National Science Education Standards (1996) for science education to be inquiry-based. Students must "do" science - which means students observe, collect, compare, hypothesize, experiment, interpret, classify, and communicate what they learn. Learning science becomes an active process of students interacting with materials and sharing conversations about their discoveries. The guided inquiries of this handbook reflect this recommendation. The classroom that follows this handbook will be an active classroom of engaged students exploring the tools and techniques of a scientist. The inquiry units in this handbook are a compilation of my classroom experiences and readings from the internet, workshops attendance, and textbooks gleanings. Every unit in this handbook is explained in full with the goals and objectives of the unit and an explanation of the pitfalls and strengths of each activity. The guided inquiries form the backbone of the units, but projects and presentations along with end-of-the-unit lab practicums form other forms of assessments. Throughout the set of nine units, there are ample opportunities for students to communicate their findings.

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