New educational methods inevitably set off debates, and “inquiry science instruction” provides a classic case. Over the past two decades, proponents of inquiry science, sometimes referred to as “hands-on science,” laud it as an engaging and interactive teaching method. Critics lambaste it as an absence of instruction, unconcerned about scientific facts or correct answers.
It has been more than 20 years since the last large-scale attempt to understand the impact of inquiry science teaching, and now EDC’s Center for Science Education has undertaken a comprehensive three-year analysis. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study will synthesize research conducted from 1984 to 2002 and produce findings for today’s educators and policymakers.
Originally published on August 31, 2005