Biomind -- A new biology curriculum that enables authentic inquiry learning

Zion, Michal; Shapira, Devora; Slezak, Michaella; Link, Efrat; Bashan, Nurit; Brumer, Miri; Orian, Talmona; Nussinovitch, R.; Mendelovici, Ruth; Agrest, Bruria
March 2004
Journal of Biological Education (Society of Biology);Spring2004, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p59
Academic Journal
Case Study
In recent years, the science teaching community and curriculum developers have emphasised the importance of teaching inquiry and teaching science as inquiry. One way of developing learners' skills for planning and carrying out scientific research is by allowing them to perform independent research, guided by a teacher. It was recently discovered that there are considerable differences between experiments conducted by scientists and those conducted by students, with regard to the cognitive processes that the experimenters go through. Developing inquiry study activities that emphasise authentic inquiry was suggested in order to introduce students to cognitive activity that more closely resembles that of scientific professionals. This article describes the Biomind programme, intended for students of Grades 11 and 12 (ages 16 to 18 years) majoring in biology. The curriculum, developed by biology teachers, enables students to conduct independent research under teacher guidance. The curriculum emphasises the learning process, not just the outcome, and so students must reflect upon the work in progress. Moreover, the Biomind curriculum follows the principles of authentic inquiry. Biomind may improve students' scientific thinking abilities, expand the guidance aspect of teachers' work, and inspire curriculum developers to further emphasise inquiry.


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