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Inquiry-based teaching and learning in Primary STEM

Woods-McConney, A., McConney, A. and Sturrock, K. (2020) Inquiry-based teaching and learning in Primary STEM. In: Fitzgerald, A., Haeusler, C. and Pfeiffer, L., (eds.) STEM Education in Primary Classrooms: Unravelling Contemporary Approaches in Australia and New Zealand. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 28-44.

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This chapter describes the evolution of an inquiry-based activity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Ball of Fear, that was developed and used in a primary classroom setting and then further developed as an inquiry-based activity in a first-year university context with pre-service teachers enrolled in a science content unit. Inquiry-based teaching and learning in primary STEM is well aligned with modern learning theory, allowing an in-depth exploration of the nature, principles and concepts of STEM disciplines. Because cooperative groups ranging from two to five members are prevalent in primary STEM and ‘almost all inquiry-learning approaches make use of group work’, the chapter highlights cooperative inquiry-based teaching and learning in primary STEM. High-level interactions among the students in the cooperative groups occurred without explicitly teaching inquiry or cooperative skills, which supports the rationale for including inquiry-based activities in primary STEM.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
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