Inquiry-Based Science and the Redesigned Curriculum
BC’s Redesigned Curriculum places renewed emphasis on inquiry-based science education. This approach to teaching science is not new, having been first endorsed by John Dewey over 100 years ago, however, it is now a foundational component of science programs across Canada and the world. There are three reasons commonly cited for moving to a more inquiry-based model of science education: to increase student engagement; to improve science literacy among students; and to engage students in the practices of professional scientists. By engaging in an inquiry process, students act as scientists as they form questions, design investigations, analyze and evaluate results, and communicate evidence and findings. These science skills and habits of mind are reflected in the prescribed Curricular Competencies that run through the Science Curriculum from K-12.
At the Richmond School District, we acknowledge a continuum of levels of inquiry, ranging from confirmation (in which students confirm already known results) to open (in which students ask their own questions and design their own investigations). Providing more opportunities for open inquiry allows for a greater shift from student as receiver of knowledge to student as co-constructor of knowledge. Inquiry-based practices increase scientific literacy, equipping students with the ability to make informed decisions in their lives and the skills necessary to participate in the 21st century economy. To find out more about the Redesigned Science Curriculum click on this link: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/science/introduction