Hands-on Experiments / Activities

Hands-on Experiments

In lessons led by WU faculty and students, all personnel have been trained in the importance of student-led questions and open-ended investigations used in inquiry-based teaching. That being said, activities are predicated on the idea of following the student’s questioning processes and following along in their thinking. This allows students to control the direction of the conversation while also allowing for the content to be delivered appropriately to each individual student.

Some of the activities used for this training include discrepant events that help teachers new to inquiry learn how to engage students by using demonstrations that produce unexpected outcomes—these events capture students’ attention and confront their beliefs about a particular “phenomenon by producing an outcome which is contrary to what their previous experiences would lead them to believe is true” (Misiti, 2000, p. 34). These are great ways to counter students’ misconceptions so that the teacher is aware of the sorts of prior knowledge that may obstruct accurate conceptual development.