Teaching for Critical Thinking via Inquiry-Based Science Investigations

By on April 2, 2012 in Teacher Training Workshops, What Makes A Great Teacher?

Just back from conducting teacher training in Bangkok, Thailand. As always I’m delighted to share my enthusiasm for science, and likewise learning from those teachers I have the pleasure of meeting during the training sessions. The video below are short clips from a workshop I conducted for middle through high school teachers entitled “Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Incorporating Inquiry-Based Science Investigations”. We begin the workshop by discussing what characterizes critical thinking skills, and how the teachers go about promoting critical thinking skills within their classrooms. Teachers then proceed to conduct several hands-on-minds-on investigations that involve asking higher-order questions, making detailed observations, collecting data, and recording information via reflective journaling. During this particular workshop teachers explored super-absorbing polymers, biomimicry, solar energy, ecosystems, and chemical reactions. Investigations are introduced to the teachers via an inquiry-based format, requiring the participants to discover, question, design, and conduct the investigations on their own with minimal guidance from the instructor.  As usual it was a great group of teachers, with great minds willing to think “outside of the box”.