Skip to main content area Skip to sub-navigation
Skip to main content

ED250: Topics in Education: Foundations of Inquiry Learning

This two block course will explore the environmental chemistry of air pollution, the ozone hole, climate change, energy, safe drinking water, acid rain, nuclear energy, and alternative energy as examples of how people learn scientific concepts through extended learning progressions. Rather than just focusing on learning these environmental and chemistry concepts, we will address the process of how we integrate prior knowledge, how we employ inquiry and reasoning, how we become aware of our learning processes, and how the way that we reflect upon outcomes to advance our own learning are integral to engaging in complex systems thinking. We will use our knowledge of learning and chemistry to design and teach classes for K-12 students in local schools and the outdoors, as well as learn chemistry through applications relating to the environment in both the lab, field and classroom settings, and through a student-designed research project culminating in a written scientific paper. Throughout this class, students will think about the inquiry processes that lead to the development of scientific knowledge: experimentation, modeling, data interpretation, evidential arguments and integrated systems thinking.