Beyond Fair Testing: Teaching Different Types of Scientific Enquiry

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The materials provide teachers with examples of different enquiry types, e.g. classifying and identifying, developing systems, and pattern seeking.  The booklet provides an overview of the enquiries and the particular approaches used. Scientists use many different ways to collect evidence, but a survey undertaken of work in schools found that many kinds of enquiry were very poorly represented. Fair tests were carried out much more frequently than other kinds of enquiry and many teachers said they would like more variety. The Beyond Fair Testing pack provides examples of different kinds of enquiry.

The sections within this pack are:

  • Mystery powders (Identifying)
  • Spiders (Identifying)
  • Fitness (Designing a system)
  • Bubbles (Testing a model)
  • Air pollution (Exploring, Pattern seeking)
  • Biodiversity (Different kinds of enquiries)

These resources were developed by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme and King’s College London in order to broaden the range of scientific enquiries for students aged 11-16.

 

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