The Inquiry Institute
The Inquiry Institute (IČ) is a unique collaboration of science educators from the School of Education and scientists in the Dept. of Natural Sciences. Members of the group began working together informally many years ago and became an official group in 1997. About 10-12 people from the two academic units meet every other week for 10 months of the year. The Inquiry Institute has worked on numerous grants, program revisions and the development of the Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE). For more information about the collaboration, click here to see the related publication.
The Inquiry Institute has developed numerous science courses for pre-service and in-service teachers, that use inquiry pedagogy as the main teaching strategy. This follows recommendations by the National Science Education Standards that teachers should learn science in the same manner that they will be expected to teach it. Therefore, all course instructors actively model hands-on, minds-on science teaching for students.
Some of the courses explicitly use the 5E Learning Cycle as a format to carry out the inquiry investigations. In addition to changing the pedagogy, the inquiry-based science courses reduced the "mile-wide, inch deep" content from a traditional survey course to a select set of key concepts based upon the Michigan Curriculum Framework and more recently the Grade Level Content Expectations for K-7 Science.