Resource Image Multiple Modes of Inquiry in Earth Science

by: Kim A. Kastens and Ann Rivet
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Type of Resource: Journal Article
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 1 review
Publication Title: The Science Teacher
Publication Date: 1/1/2008
Grade Level: High School


To help teachers enrich their students’ understanding of inquiry in Earth science, this article describes six modes of inquiry used by practicing geoscientists (Earth scientists). Each mode of inquiry is illustrated by using examples of seminal or pioneering research and provides pointers to investigations that enable students to experience these modes. By discussing and engaging with multiple modes of inquiry, students should gain a deeper understanding of both science content and science process.

Ideas For Use


Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Analyzing data
Collecting data
Interpreting data
Scientific habits of mind
Using mathematics
Using technology
Intended User Role:Curriculum Supervisor, High-School Educator, Teacher
Educational Issues:Assessment of students, Classroom management, Curriculum, Educational research, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Interdisciplinary, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies


Resource Format:
Size: KB
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National Standards Correlation

This resource has 9 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 9 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Science as Inquiry
    • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
      • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
      • Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
    • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. (5-8)
      • Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry. (9-12)
      • In presenting data, graphs are used to convey comparisons or trends. (9-12)
  • Teaching Standards
    • Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
      • Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
    • Teachers provide students with the time, space, and resources needed to learn science.
      • Create a setting for student work that is flexible and supportive of science inquiry.
      • Make the available science tools, materials, media, and technological resources accessible to students.

User Reviews

Connecting Students to Science
  Kate Geer (Louisville, CO) on March 30, 2011
  I thought this article did a nice job of illustrating what types of inquiry are used in by practicing geoscientists. Teachers could use this an background information or share with students to help create a context for what they are learning. Teachers would have to supplement the ideas in this article with their lessons and concepts covered, but this article provides a nice framework for how we study Earth Science.