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EDU431

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METHODS OF TEACHING
MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE IN THE
PRIMARY/JUNIOR GRADES

Required reading K: Analysis and Reflection.
Title: Creating a Love for Science for Elementary Students through Inquiry-based Learning.

CITATION: Spencer, Trina L., Walker, Tracey M. Journal of Virginia Science Education. Vol. 4,
n2. Creating a Love for Science for Elementary Students through Inquiry-based Learning.

ABSTRACT:

Educators know that science, technology,
engineering, and math (STEM) education is
crucial for student success in the 21st
century. Interest in these areas begins in
elementary school and elementary teachers
need to be aware of the strategies that
promote this learning. This paper explores
inquiry-based instructional strategies as a
method for generating student interest in
science. Inquiry is a process that students use
to resolve uncertainty. This paper focuses on
two inquiry-based instructional strategies:
the 5E model and Concept attainment. The
5E model uses 5 phases: engage, explore,
explain, elaborate, and evaluate. This
strategy uses a process that allows students
to create their own definitions and
understanding.











ANALYSIS/REFLECTION:


To begin, it is important to incorporate
science, technology, engineering, and math
during the formative years in elementary
school as the areas each subject entails will
enable students to succeed in the future. It is
evident that younger students tend to be
more curious and motivated to learn. All of
this can be done through inquiry-based
learning.

The article looks at inquiry-based instruction
versus traditional science instruction. With
tradition, instruction can be less vibrant and
does not usually include student exploration,
thus it is more teacher directed. On the other
hand, inquiry-based instruction is student
centered; students become the facilitator of
their own learning. I believe that when
students are able to explore knowledge on
their own and based on their own interests,
they are more likely to become motivated
and willing to learn. Therefore, inquiry
becomes the basic building block for science
education in elementary schools.

This article mentions 5 phases of the
instructional process. First is engage. This
entails the teacher engaging with students to
motivate and raise their interest in the

subject being taught. Second is exploring.


After students are engage, they should be
able to explore what they learned by getting
involved in activities that will help them think
and problem solve. Third is explaining. In this
task, teachers should effectively explain the
scientific concept in a way that connects to
students prior knowledge. Fourth, is the
elaborate phase. This is when students can
apply information learned to new situations.
Finally, is the evaluation phase. With this,
students work with their peers to check their
understanding.

The main point here, in my opinion, is that
this model is used in order to allow students
to create their own definitions and
understanding of subjects. As teachers,
however, we have to remember that
planning is essential; we have to work WITH
our students and model for them by
providing examples and non-examples.

All in all, inquiry based instruction and
strategies seem to be important in building
upon student interests in math and science.