Science Time

Inquiry Learning and the Nature of Science

Virtual Teacher Seminar (Primary & Secondary)

Slide Show Format (2 h), plus Assignments (Optional, 3 h)


Click for brief video introduction Click for lengthier video introduction

Professional learning, at your leisure, in the comfort of your home

This popular seminar is now available in the form of a narrated PowerPoint slide show, accompanied by written materials and other support. It can also be used as a focus for a series of science staff meetings.

To receive your free, introductory paper (see below) and/or purchase the seminar package, which includes our money-back guarantee, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Please find details below.


  • Being able to draw on the latest, and best, understandings in the areas of inquiry learning and the nature of science as a basis for better implementing science curricula.
  • Understanding what inquiry learning in Science means, how the different levels of inquiry can be distinguished, and why the confusion about inquiry learning exists.
  • Knowing which level of inquiry best promotes student science achievement, and which best promotes student interest in science.
  • Knowing the shortcomings of unguided inquiry, while also distinguishing the degree of guidance and the degree of direction provided.
  • The opportunity to address misconceptions about issues that include open inquiry, the scientific method, and use of the terms hypothesis, prediction, and conclusion (and even law, theory, and embedded theory). Even textbooks are getting the terminology wrong!
  • Understanding why too much attention is being given to the investigation of descriptive questions at the expense of causal questions. Indeed, many students are never provided the opportunity to answer a causal question by investigation, yet this process is critical to the development of an understanding of the nature of science.
  • Understanding why reports of descriptive and causal investigations require different headings, why a hypothesis is not needed in every student investigation, and why some investigative reports require a summary of results only while others require a conclusion.
  • Being able to distinguish scientific and non-scientific claims.
  • Appreciating how the use of different types of learning cycle can transform the classroom experience for students, turning dull activities into highly engaging investigations.
  • Understanding how inquiry might be used in school science in different time-period contexts, from a single activity through a segment of work within a unit to an extended project.
  • Being able to draw on the Inquiry Classroom Management Checklist. And more.

Materials and Support

  • Narrated PowerPoint slide show, Part 1 (65 MB, 46 minutes) and Part 2 (37 MB, 25 minutes). Allow 2 hours (including embedded questions/activities).
  • Seminar notes (746 kB) comprising:
    • Further written materials that include a concept map, glossary, ideas for implementing a 7E Learning Cycle, Inquiry Classroom Management Checklist, categories of assessment instruments, Classroom Participation Rubric for peer assessment, and advice for designing a performance task rubric.
    • Papers, for further reading, that elaborate on the content of the seminar.
  • Email and phone support (includes me phoning you in Australia or selected countries) at no additional cost.
  • Mastery Quiz (optional). Please find this seven-item quiz here. However, completion of this quiz is mandatory for New South Wales (Australia) teachers seeking 2 h credit for completing this NESA Registered PD for Proficient Teacher Level.
  • Two optional assignments for those seeking 3 hours additional credit (i.e., 5 h in total, and also NESA Registered PD for Proficient Teacher Level in NSW) for completing a professional development course. Please find the assignments here.

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 
  • For further information about the presenter, please click here.

Feedback From Participants

  • “THANKYOU. After completing a course, it is easy to go away and forget what was learned. By doing the assignments I was able to apply the knowledge immediately. I found it very worthwhile, especially as Peter was very prompt and thorough with feedback and further suggestions.” Sarah-Jane Becroft, Callaghan College, Jesmond, NSW
  • "Wow, such stimulating ideas, great demonstration . . . really interesting content that I can use, really use, in the classroom . . . can be used to differentiate . . . liked the way to address the science-religion question." District Participants, Dubbo College Senior Campus, Dubbo, NSW
  • "I have enjoyed the clear, deliberative, and stimulating presentation. An especially useful feature of the narrated PowerPoint slides is that one can repeat sections for additional consideration." Stephen Murray, Science Teacher, Albany Primary School, WA
  • "The paper titled 'Understanding Hypotheses, Predictions, Theories, and Laws,' written by Peter Eastwell, should be read widely, and the whole debate of what constitutes a hypothesis, a prediction, a theory, and a law in science needs to take a much more central place in science education training and science courses in general." Dr Gary Simpson, Head of Science, Woodleigh School, Victoria, Australia
  • "Another great seminar . . . 2 hours not enough and would like to attend the full-day workshop . . . ideas I can take back and use immediately . . . I now understand why I need to change some aspects of my teaching of science . . . the notes provided were thorough and excellent and it was great to receive these before the seminar." Participants, Fairholme College, Toowoomba, Qld
  • "I have recently spoken with a physics teacher who said that he knew several other physics teachers who were ready to quit teaching until they took inquiry/learning cycle workshops that not only transformed the way they teach but reinvigorated their careers and made teaching fun." Professor Anton Lawson, distinguished scholar in this field, Arizona, USA


Personal payment: 250 AUD (Australian dollars). Options include credit card payment via PayPal.
School or other institution paying:
School to 250 total students. 400 AUD
School with 251-600 total students. 600 AUD
School with 601-1000 total students. 900 AUD
School with > 1000 total students. 1200 AUD

Assignments (optional): Please add 300 AUD per person. You may choose to initially register for the combined slide show seminar plus optional assignments. Alternatively, you may initially register for the slide show seminar only and decide to add the assignments at a later date.

(Alternatively, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange an in-person seminar at your location.)

Money-Back Guarantee

Following your payment, you will receive on-line access to the narrated PowerPoint slide show for Part 1. If for any reason you are not satisfied, simply request a refund of the purchase price within 7 days. Otherwise, look forward to receiving the remaining materials promptly.


1. Free introductory paper. To receive the full text of the following paper, express your interest in this seminar, and/or seek further information, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. :
Eastwell, P. H. (2010). The scientific method: Critical yet misunderstood. The Science Education Review, 9, 8-12.

2. Purchase. To purchase this course, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a recipient-completed Tax Invoice, complete it, and arrange for payment on it. Receive access to the seminar materials via return email.

Payment Options

Credit card (via PayPal, and hence secure and available from many countries).
PayPal account
Bank draft (e.g., cheque or money order). Bank drafts need to be in Australian dollars (AUD) and payable to Science Time, please.
Direct debit from a bank account. Available to purchasers within Australia only. Excessive bank charges unfortunately prevent us from accepting direct debit from outside Australia.


Peter Eastwell