Science Time

Inquiry Learning: Role-Modelling a Learning Sequence

Teacher Workshop (Primary & Secondary)

This 2-hour workshop provides an ideal follow-up to the seminar titled Inquiry Learning and the Nature of Science. However, it can also be a stand-alone event.
The workshop models an inquiry lesson for middle-school students, and provides participants with the opportunity to discuss relevant design elements. While the focus will be on science education, the techniques and strategies are applicable across all year levels of the entire school curriculum.
Components of the seminar may include techniques for eliciting students' prior conceptions, cooperative learning techniques, a Hot Air Balloon demonstration, designing, critiquing, and carrying out hands-on activities to investigate thermal effects, a science song and poem, constructivism and conceptual change, the 7E Learning Model, multiple intelligences and Bloom's taxonomy, assessment (categories of assessment methods, self/peer/teacher, rubrics, authentic), and desirable science teacher characteristics.
Participants will receive an extensive set of notes.

About the Presenter

  • Passionate about science education
  • Qualifications. PhD (Science Education), BSc (Honours, Phys. Chem.), DipEd
  • Author of Physics Spectrum: Constructing an Understanding of Physics (Senior Physics text)
  • Founder and Former Editor, The Science Education Review
  • Author of numerous science education journal papers and articles 
  • Recipient of a BHP Science Teacher Award and a Service to Science Education Award
With a background that includes a first-class Honours degree in physical chemistry that required a research thesis, a PhD in science education that required a research thesis, a teaching career that began in 1978 and included both state and independent schools, having been mentor of multiple state and national award-winning student groups in competitions that required scientific investigation, keeping up-to-date with the latest international literature in science education, and having a deep passion for science education, Peter is in a strong position to facilitate professional learning about, and reflection upon, inquiry learning.
For further information about the presenter, please click here.

Feedback From Participants

  • "Engaging, inspirational, fun, good strategies . . . great framework for moving through an inquiry process, fantastic cooperative learning techniques . . . well-presented and interesting, made us reflect on our science teaching practices . . . great ideas to implement in class . . . good audience participation . . . non-threatening; all responses encouraged and no “wrong” answers dismissed or ridiculed . . . I have more questions I want to pursue, it has reminded me of the importance of science." Participants (Primary), Koondoola Primary School, Perth, WA
  • "Great pre-reading, explained things very well, very engaging, lots of very good classroom ideas/techniques that I will definitely use . . . fantastic description of inquiry, distinguished levels of inquiry and also the difference between degree of direction and guidance . . . well-structured, good discussion, open minded, very comfortable environment . . . good advice for restructuring curricula to incorporate more inquiry learning, student-centered, good websites and links. . . allowed open discussion of questions raised by participants and answered all of them well, the practical activities worked well, you obviously have a high level of knowledge in scientific and inquiry education . . . very helpful and refreshing, reminders of what we're not doing . . . I loved the simulated classroom, great booklet of notes, I loved it all!!! . . . clear, interesting voice, easy to listen to, well-paced and non-threatening, well scaffolded and aimed at all teachers--primary as well as high school . . . it was great to go to a PD session and actually learn lots . . . good balance of lecture and activity, had a great day--thank-you!" Participants, Adelaide
  • "Non-threatening presentation, very pleasant manner, you ran the session the way we should--or wish we could--at school, liked the practical techniques used for classroom organisation . . . the hands-on activities were fun, it was good to work in groups . . . very prepared and knowledgeable presentation . . . encouraged discussion, dispute, and experimentation . . . great cognitive ideas and activities . . . interesting ways to involve all students in a lesson . . . needs to be a 2-day course . . . the work was done via an inquiry approach, and lots of excellent ideas were provided along the way . . . very motivating, I appreciated the references to educational literature." Participants, Melbourne
  • "Very good PD! Excellent ideas, really liked the box and other easy examples that can be used in the classroom, very relaxed and easy to comment and put forward opinions . . . hands-on, kinesthetic, interesting way to conduct a lesson, interactive participation worked well, speed was good, but would have liked to have had more time to cover more things. . . excellent overview and ideas on the future of science education, we could do with this level of PD every semester . . . not long enough." Staff, Southport State High School
  • "Thank-you for a magnificent morning of investigation and professional learning. Your approach was enlightening and thoughtful, and the hands-on approach certainly added to our learning. We appreciated your willingness to allow us to tease out concepts with further questioning and reflection. The integration of sound teaching and learning strategies was also most worthwhile." Karen Riethmuller, Principal, Charleville School of Distance Education
  • "A very inspiring workshop . . . strongly connected to everyday practice . . . great hands-on activities, good opportunities to ask and discuss questions, great ideas that I can take back to the classroom, the interactive style of presentation, rather than a lecture, was helpful and positive." Staff, Middlemount Community School, Queensland
  • "Many thanks for your presentation. It was very clear, well-presented, and thoroughly enjoyed by all . . . Great, entertaining experiments (simple yet effective), good to model the lesson structure from start (interest) to conclusion, the idea of Your Turn Cards is excellent, too short, but jam-packed and very useful . . . great tips for managing a class . . . extensive handouts allow time for listening . . . interesting discussions." Participants, Geraldton Grammar School, WA
  • "Very practical, excellent resource booklet . . . certainly busted some myths, showed how to extend basic experiments . . . good balance between practical activities and theory, time for group discussion, information delivered in a simple, easy to understand format . . . hands-on approach excellent . . . great interaction with teachers involved, just realised today that I have been teaching some wrong concepts!! . . . more time required, too good for 1 day . . . loved the clear definitions and techniques." Participants, Key Centre for Science and Mathematics Education, Curtin University of Technology, Perth
  • "Very good ideas, very inspiring . . . hands-on, very engaging, constant demonstration of how to elicit answers--without giving it away--very good . . . interesting discussions . . . non-laboratory enquiry learning options good . . . demonstrated strategies very well, very thought-provoking as to what sort of science teacher I want to be and how to have the greatest impact on students' engagement with, and attitude to, science, would like to do this more regularly . . . a new way of looking at things . . . great content, really well presented. Staff, Mareeba State High School
  • "A very interesting and well-planned workshop, wide variety of topics . . . great questioning, hands-on activities, and concept exploration techniques . . . I have learnt heaps about heating and the fantastic activities you can do with this concept . . . demonstrated how to effectively share responsibility around members of a group . . . using higher-level thinking skills was great . . . very pleasant, approachable instruction . . . expert, supportive presenter with broad knowledge who could field all questions . . . very well organised, thought provoking . . . I actually learned something!--personally and professionally . . . I learnt to think "outside the square." Staff, Beachmere State School, Queensland
  • "Lots of good, simple activities that generate communication . . . high level of active participation . . . strategies for getting all students involved . . . leading/extension questions to promote deeper thought good . . . the practical demonstration of an enquiry lesson provided fantastic ideas that could be incorporated into my classroom . . . good involvement, rather than just sitting here and listening . . . great chance to reflect on teaching practices." Mackay District Teachers
  • "Questions made me think. Good ideas on lesson sequence. Good strategies for teaching . . . Hands-on and informative--I learned a lot! I liked all the strategies you used for cooperative learning . . . Well-modelled lesson." Teachers, Mundoo State School cluster
  • "Engaging--encouraged higher/diverse thinking processes. Science can be cooperative, with focus on individual input/learning . . . thorough explanations, good to work in groups . . . challenging prior knowledge good . . . interactive approach, unthreatening forms of questioning and explaining . . . easily understood, challenging, fabulous . . . great practical ideas, motivating, in line with latest research, well-prepared . . . relevant to day-to-day teaching . . . it was great that we could discuss our ideas/thoughts. Staff, Moranbah State School

Click for Venues, Costs, and Registration