chapter  27
24 Pages

Inquiry as an Organizing Theme for Science Curricula

ByRonald D. Anderson

Inquiry has been a prominent theme of science curriculum improvement efforts ever since the post-Sputnik era NSF-funded science education endeavors appeared in the headlines of the late 1950s. By the beginning of the next decade, inquiry was a big idea in science education, as is well illustrated by the work of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), including their rationale statements prepared by Joseph Schwab and their materials themselves, their Invitations to Inquiry being an especially good exemplar. With a certain amount of ebb and flow, inquiry has persisted as a major science education theme ever since, with its current relevance well illustrated by the National Science Education Standards (1996) and a more recent National Research Council (NRC) publication, Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards (2000).