You are here

Teaching Inquiry Science in Middle and Secondary Schools

Teaching Inquiry Science in Middle and Secondary Schools

Science Methods

September 2009 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Provides solutions for using inquiry-based teaching while meeting standards

This compelling new text practices what it preaches—it uses the inquiry approach to teach the inquiry approach.

The book is developed around six key questions:
1. What is science?
2. Why teach science?
3. What is the nature of scientific knowledge?
4. How do scientists construct knowledge?
5. How do people develop effective reasoning patterns?
6. What teaching methods best facilitate scientific knowledge acquisition?

Key Features

  • Focus on inquiry teaching methods: This text shows teachers how to use inquiry-based teaching in a standards-based environment.
  • Practical examples: Several examples of inquiry lessons are provided, along with examples of classroom management techniques, lesson planning procedures, and effective evaluation procedures.
  • Research-based content: Written by a leader in the field, the book includes current and important research to frame the examples and methods.

A password-protected instructor resources site at includes PowerPoint slides for each chapter, a test bank, chapter outlines with notes, Internet resources, and sample assignments.

Part I. The Nature of Science
1. Educational Goals and The Nature of Science Inquiry
Exploring Instructional Alternatives

The Goals of American Education

How Science Is Practiced

Testing Hypothesis Using Experiments

Basic and Applied Research

2. The Nature of Scientific Theories
The Greek Four-Material Theory

The "Discovery" of Oxygen

Description Versus Explanation: Why Do Objects Fall?

Proof and Disproof

The Elements of Scientific Discovery

How Do Science and Religion Differ?

Part II. Student Thinking, Development, and Learning
3. How Students Think
Exploring Student Reasoning

How Do Student Responses Relate to Intellectual Development?

Is There A Fifth State?

Why Developmental Stages Are Important to Teachers

4. Developing and Learning Different Types of Knowledge
Developing Procedural Knowledge

Provoking Self-Regulation In The Classroom

Why Does State "Retardation" Occur?

Learning Declarative Knowledge

Provoking Development and Learning In The Classroom

Teaching for Development and Learning

Part III. Elements of Inquiry Instruction
5. The Origins And Outcomes of Inquiry Instruction
A Brief History of Science Instruction

Outcomes of Inquiry Instruction

6. Inquiry Instruction
Exploring Instructional Alternatives

Types of Learning Cycles

How Do Learning Cycles Relate to Doing Science?

Using Textboks to Introduce New Terms

7. Planning For Inquiry
Questions to Consider

Preparing Good Lesson Plans

8. Technology, Labs, and Safety in the Inquiry Classroom
Classroom Technology

Labs in the Inquiry Classroom

Lab Safety and Organism Use

Part IV. Instructional Strategies
9. Demonstrations, Lectures, Discussions, and Field Trips



Field Trips

10. Managing the Inquiry Classroom
Classrooms Rules and Procedures

Solving Management Problems

The Classroom Management Survey

11. Inquiry Instruction and Diverse Learners
Strategies for English Language Learners

Avoiding Gender Bias

Students With Learning Disabilities

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students

Selecting and Using a Textbook for Diverse Learners

12. Curriculum Development
Types of Concepts

Conceptual Systems

Inititating and Sequencing Units

Teaching the Ecosystem Conceptual System

Scheduling Learning Cycles

Integrating Technological and Societal Issues

13. Assessing Student Progress
Types of Assessment

Anticipating and Reducing Bias

Assigning Grades

Developing Effective Exams

Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

Using Exams to Encourage Self-Regulation

Developing and Scoring Essay Exams

Using Homework Problems to Encourage Self-Regulation

Using Written Assignments to Encourage Self-Regulation

Part V. Professional Induction and Development
14. Helping More Teachers Use Inquiry
Inquiry Doesn't Take Too Much Time and Energy

Inquiry Can "Cover" Enough Material

Reading Inquiry Textbooks Can Be Easier

Risk Is Not Too High

Concrete Thinkers Can Inquire

Students Don't Waste Too Much Time

Old "Dogs" Can Learn New "Tricks"

Inquiry Is Flexible

Inquiry Increases Comfort

Inquiry Is Not Too Expensive

Using the RTOP to Measure and Improve Inquiry Teaching

15. Professional Development
Professional Development Standards

Good Teaching Really Matters

Conducting Action Research in Your Classroom


"This is an excellent and needed contribution to the science education teacher preparation field."

Douglas Zook
Boston University

"Processes and products of inquiry are evident in the text and real classroom situations are presented with anecdotes, reflection and possible solutions when certain issues may develop. It presents a model for instruction that can be replicated in different classrooms."

Bonita Flournoy
Columbus State University

This is a very thoughtful book that I plan to use this summer. I am awaiting approval. The books does a great job discussing the elements of inquiry within a secondary setting.

Dr Georgia Hodges
Science Education Dept, University of Georgia
March 29, 2011

My section of the course was cancelled due to low enrollment. I believe the text was excellent and plan to use it if I teach science methods in the spring.

Dr Glenn Markle
Division of Teacher Education, University of Cincinnati
September 23, 2010

I liked the prior edition, and really like the way this one is set up. A must-have for science teaching professionals.

Professor John Deming
Chemistry Dept, Winona State University
June 21, 2010

The focus of the textbook is on inquiry teaching. The author's writing style is very readable.

Dr Susan Cooper
College Of Education, Florida Gulf Coast University
January 21, 2010

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site