What is Scientific Inquiry?

Scientific inquiry requires students to use higher order thinking skills as they learn science using a hands-on minds-on approach. Inquiry’s foundation has its roots in John Dewey’s book Democracy in Education (1916). In this book he describes how true learning begins with the curiosity of learners.

Defining Scientific Inquiry

His research found that student curiosity and involvement real science investigations moves students from passive learners to active learners. This is evidenced when students:

  • ask questions during an investigation
  • design their own investigations
  • conduct investigations using their design
  • formulate explanations of findings
  • present their findings
  • reflect upon their findings

Scientific inquiry causes a fundamental change in science education, moving it away from traditional teaching practices of lecture and demonstration to a collaborative relationship between teacher and student. In these collaborative environments, students take risks without fear of ridicule and begin to think about science. Teachers become facilitators of their student’s inquiry by:

  • modeling and immersing their students in scientific inquiry
  • ask guiding questions which provoke thought and reflection
  • allow student creativity in experimental design
  • allow students to discover experiments can be successful, yet fail to answer the original question being investigated

Initial confusion by students analyzing experimental findings is not necessary bad, because they are using critical thinking processes. Confusion is good in this setting, because it demonstrates students are trying to determine why they did not find the typical canned answer. Also, a hypothesis can actually result in a non-support statement as a result of the experiment.

Too often students investigate canned labs which result in a guided hypothesis which can only result in supported finding. This leads them to feel when their experiment does not support their hypothesis they failed. They have not failed, however they do not know this in traditional science teaching.

Scientific Inquiry Involves Asking Questions

Student success designing experiments is based on asking the right questions. They need to develop questions which do not lead to yes/no or true/false answers, because the best questions are open-ended and inquiry-based. As students analyze evidence to explain findings, open-ended questions provide the answers they need to formulate meaningful explanations.

Answering questions in a student’s own words is important for higher level of thinking and knowledge. A student’s own words disclose level of understanding and reveal misconceptions based on prior knowledge and experiences.

Impact of Using Scientific Inquiry

When students make personal connections when using scientific inquiry, internalization of the new knowledge takes place. The key attributes of scientific inquiry-based teaching and learning result in students:

  • learning how to design research
  • learning how to ask questions
  • internalizing new knowledge
  • realizing findings depend on experimental design
  • increasing their level of understanding of science
  • learning to investigate like scientists

Nursing Degrees Explained: LPN, LVN, RN, APN, and NP

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a basic nursing degree that forms the foundation for further nursing courses. The course duration is of around one year and includes both theory and practice. An online LPN course trains students for jobs such as daily intake-outtake monitoring, changing dressings, and caring for patients. The requirements for awarding an LPN degree will vary with the state as this is a state-awarded degree.

A Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) is on par with the LPN. This program too is a stepping stone for more nursing degrees. Successful training for this one-year program leads to a diploma or a certificate and the student qualifies for the NCLEX-PN examination. Work opportunities exist in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and public schools.

A Registered Nurse (RN) degree is a very respectable one and experienced RNs are always in demand. In order to become a Registered Nurse, you can either take the 4-year BSN course or acquire an ADN. You can also clear a Nursing Diploma Program offered by hospitals. Apart from these there is the NCLEX-RN exam to clear. An advantage with an RN degree is that it is licensed for the country and hence has acceptance in several states. RNs are well suited for nursing jobs that require traveling.

APN stands for Advanced Practicing Nursing and includes masters and doctoral degrees. Job opportunities include clinical nurse specialists, researchers, faculty managers, etc. APNs can handle primary as well as tertiary care duties. The definition of APN changes from state to state and so do their rights and duties. APNs are eligible for a DEA number which gives them prescriptive authority.

Registered Nurses, who have acquired training in recognizing and managing medical conditions that are fairly common, qualify as Nurse Practitioners (NP). NPs execute duties similar to those of a physician and are often regular health care providers for people. Nurse Practitioners are trained toward wellness and preventive techniques. This means that the patient is educated and treated at the same time and is also spared the costs of expensive prescriptions.

Professors – Multiple Intelligences Are Alive and Well in Your Classroom

Multiple Intelligences

Research in the last couple of decades indicates that there is not a single form of “intelligence.” When one only accepts the traditional definition of “intelligence,” a competitive classroom culture is fostered which ensures some students will fail. In recent years, the concept of “multiple intelligences” has emerged to create a contrasting paradigm. Seeking to broaden the scope of human potential beyond the traditional IQ score, Howard Gardner, renowned for having developed the most well known theory of multiple intelligences, defines intelligence as “a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture” (1999, p. 34).

Gardner challenges the validity of determining people’s intelligence by taking them out of their natural learning environment and asking them to complete isolated tasks they had never done before. His position that intelligence has more to do with solving problems and creating products in a context-rich environment is an outgrowth of his research, which now yields nine comprehensive categories, or what have come to be called “intelligences”:

  • Verbal/linguistic intelligence – the capacity to use words effectively (think of a skilled author or orator). Students who possess this intelligence have generally been successful in traditional classrooms because their intelligence lends itself to traditional teaching.
  • Logical/mathematical intelligence – the capacity to reason and employ numbers effectively (think Alan Greenspan). In addition to the students who possess high verbal/linguistic intelligence, the students in this group also tend to do well in traditional classrooms where teaching is logically sequenced and students are asked to conform.
  • Visual/spatial intelligence – the ability to accurately manipulate mental representations of large or small spaces (think Air Force pilot or chess player). These learners like to see what is being talked about in order to understand.
  • Bodily/kinesthetic intelligence – expertise in using the entire body to express ideas and feelings (think Maria Tallchief). These students often give the professor every indication of what intelligence they embody–through their constant movement and expressive body language.
  • Musical intelligence – the capacity to perceive, discriminate, transform and express musical forms effectively (think Yo Yo Ma). These learners use patterns, rhythms, instruments and musical expression to represent their world.
  • Interpersonal intelligence – the ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, motivations and feelings of other people (think of a skilled psychologist). These learners are noticeably people oriented and outgoing, and do well working in groups or with a partner.
  • Intrapersonal – self-knowledge and the ability to act adaptively on the basis of that knowledge (think someone who knows him-/herself, is comfortable with that knowledge, and can accommodate changes). These learners may tend to be more reserved, but they are actually quite intuitive about what they learn and how it relates to them.
  • Naturalist – recognizing patterns in the living world (think Charles Darwin). A student possessing the naturalist intelligence demonstrates an ease in identifying and classifying living things.
  • Existentialist – a proclivity for asking the fundamental questions about life (think Dalai Lama). This is one of Gardner’s newest intelligences and one that is likely to be more extensively explored. Those with the existentialist intelligence ask questions like, “Why are we here?” and “What is our role in the world?”

It is likely that as you read through these brief descriptions, you find yourself described by at least one–and it is also likely that you identify your field with one of the intelligences more than another. For example, if you are a music professor, it would not be surprising if you believe that you possess the musical intelligence–and that your students (well, your best students) also possess this intelligence. Likewise, if you are working with graduate students who are preparing to be clinical psychologists, I hope you see evidence of both interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence in them.

There are some of who have taken the concept of Multiple Intelligences and made it into a cottage industry. Gardner is the first to remind educators to reject the idea that we all need to create MI lessons and “teach to” all of the intelligences represented in our classrooms. There are those who purport to teach every single concept so that it addresses every single “intelligence” represented in their classroom. It is not reasonable to expect anyone to frame every classroom learning experience to tie into each of the *9* intelligences. Rather, just consider this complex concept in an oversimplified way, and be sensitized to the fact that it is likely that in your classroom, you will have students who have talents and problem-solving abilities that support their learning in a variety of ways. Your students’ talents and abilities may be well suited to the content and style of your teaching or, their talents and abilities may require additional effort on their part–and your part–in order for them to learn.

In the traditional paradigm of “intelligence,” students either possessed it or they didn’t. In Gardner’s paradigm, students have more of, or less of, a wider variety of intelligences. In the process of helping every unique student in your class approach their fullest potential, not by imposing preconceived limitations but by proactively soliciting their individual input into learning decisions that have an impact on them, your “job” and your perception of the human development process will become far more rewarding.

Concept-Based Teaching Method

Concept-based teaching method can be defined as a type of learning that centers on big-picture ideas and learning of how to organize and categorize information. Conceptual methods focus on understanding broader principles or ideas that can be later applied to a variety of specific examples.it can also be seen as more of top-down approach that serves as a means of getting students to think more critically about the new subjects and situations they encounter. For example, if someone is teaching about the concept of fruit, then some good exemplars would be apples, oranges, and bananas. Some exemplars that can be used can either still be a relationship between the mother and daughter, or a group of friend.

Benefits derived from concept-based teaching

The following are the lists of the benefit derived from concept-based teaching:

1. Concept-based teaching method helps student to take more active role in their learning using flipped classroom model of instruction

2. Concept-based teaching streamlines content and eliminates redundancies across courses.

3. Concept-based teaching encourages students to see patterns and use those patterns to deliver care and anticipate risks.

4. Concept-based teaching helps to support systematic observations about events or conditions that influence a problem

5. Concept-based teaching causes a higher level of retention.

How to teach concept in learning

Concept is the knowledge that identifies, explain, analyze, demonstrate real-life elements and event. These are broad ideas that are in many instances, through geographical and cultural boundaries. There are two kinds of concept. These are sensory and abstract.

• Sensory concepts: The sensory concepts are ones that have characteristics features of sensory organ. The features are very tangible, can be picked by one or more of our sensory organs. For instance, a course for trainee physicians to help them learn how to diagnose diseases will mostly deal with the sensory concept.

• Abstract concepts: The abstract concepts are neither visible or tangible, courses on leadership and management often contain abstract concept. E.g As an instructional designer, you will have to teach both the sensory and abstract concepts.

Here are the three steps to teach concepts:

I. Define the concept: This deals with the concept class and the distinguishing features. A definition is a statement of facts that identify the species that the subject belongs to and specifies its class.

II. Provide examples and non-examples: This helps to reinforce the learning by identifying the key attributes. A definition can be remembered through memorizing it. Providing examples with the definition helps to cement the learning, besides using examples to explain concept helps learners categorize objects based on similar properties.

III. Paint analogies: It allows to create a new learning with previously learned skill. Analogies jog the memory of the learner and help him/her correlate a new learning with previously learned skills and past experiences.Analogies are excellent instructional tools to explain abstract or concept sentences.

ROLE CONCEPT

A concept can be a role which means that it is not essential to all or some of its instances. for example, invasive species is a role because certain species may become invasive at some point in time and become native at a later point in time.

What is the Most Studied Area in Psychology? Intelligence

What is intelligence? Intelligence is one of the most examined fields in the history of psychology (Hood, et. al). The Oxford American Dictionary defines intelligence as mental ability, the power of learning and understanding. In the early twentieth century, Alfred Binet developed a series of measures by which he could identify children in need of special education programs, using the concept that intelligence is a general ability to judge well, to comprehend well, and to reason well (1916). He showed mental processes grow and increase as a child gets older. Francis Galton and Herbert Spencer used the Latin word for intelligence to refer to individual differences in ability (Drummond, 2000). Cattell and others looked at Darwin’s theory of individual differences. Wechsler (1958) defined intelligence as, “the aggregate or global ability of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment” (p.7). When looking at tests of intelligence, it is important to note the author’s definition of intelligence as tests measure different conceptual ideas of intelligence.

Just as there are myriad definitions of intelligence, there are many models that attempt to capture the many facets of intelligence. Spearman (1927), using factor analysis of test performance, identified two factors – general ability (g) and specific item ability (s). Thurstone (1938) identified seven factors, as follows:

1. Number ability: to perform basic mathematical processes accurately and rapidly

2. Verbal ability: to understand ideas expressed in word form

3. Word fluency: to speak and write fluently

4. Memory: to recognize and recall information such as numbers, letters, and words

5. Reasoning: to derive rules and solve problems inductively

6. Spatial ability: to visualize form relationships in three dimensions

7. Perception: to perceive things quickly, such as visual details and similarities and differences among pictured objects.

Cattell (1963) identified fluid and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence refers to the intelligence used in tasks requiring adaptation and change to new situations. Heredity plays a role in fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence refers to those areas that are learned, such as in school, and are related to the environment.

IQ is the commonly used measurement of intelligence. IQ is a ratio of a child’s mental age (by testing) divided by the child’s chronological age, multiplied by 100. This original definition of IQ has a number of problems with limitations on age (e.g. answering all questions correctly on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale yields a mental age of less than 20), thus rendering the usefulness of this scale to preteens (Hood & Johnson). Another problem with this measurement is that the general public has come to believe IQ is fixed and immutable, somewhat like eye color, rather than the particular score on a particular test at a particular time. A derived IQ standard score has replaced the ratio IQ to circumvent some of these problems.

References:

Binet, A., & Simon, T. (1916). The development of intelligence in children (E.S. Kite, Trans.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

Drummond, R.J. (2000). Appraisal procedures for counselors and helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Hood, A.B., & Johnson, R.W. (1997). Assessment in counseling, (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA.: American Counseling Association.

Spearman, C. (1927). The abilities of man. London: MacMillan.

Wechsler, D. (1958). The measurement of adult intelligence. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.