Research has shown that learning through inquiry enhances students’ capacity to understand the concepts and skills of science. While CRDG has always supported teachers with professional development within the context of the CRDG curriculum programs, in the past two years, the Science Section developed a course of professional development sessions to teach the theory and strategies of inquiry that underlie those programs.
A team of FAST (Foundational Approaches in Science Teaching) trainers came together in summer 2006 to work through the timing of the activities and clarify the best conditions and situations for teachers to learn how to use the techniques of inquiry in their classrooms.
This sharing of discoveries, innovations, and personal expertise of researchers, curriculum designers, evaluators, and seasoned professional development instructors with over thirty years of teaching and mentoring experience provided new insights that were incorporated into CRDG’s Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) professional development series.
The first TSI Aquatic Science institute was trialed in October in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Judging by remarks such as the following from one of the Hilo participants, it was an unqualified success: “This is the best thing to happen to me since I started teaching science. It renewed my belief in my ability to teach science.”