A Template for Open Inquiryby: Ronald S. Hermann and Rommel J. Miranda

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

This article provides an instructional approach to helping students generate open-inquiry research questions, which the authors call the open-inquiry question template. This template was created based on their experience teaching high school science and preservice university methods courses. To help teachers implement this template, they describe its use in a ninth-grade Earth and space science class, in which students learn about meteorite impacts. The lesson takes place over two, 90-minute class periods.

  • High
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 330 Libraries

Reviews (8)
  • on Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:35 PM

Amazing tool for teachers looking to create a more engaging classroom built around the nature of science.

Michael Clark  (Virginia Beach, VA)
Michael Clark (Virginia Beach, VA)

  • on Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:53 PM

I have assembled these resources together to aid me in linking thoughts on energy and it's effects on the environment. I want my students to be able to make a solid inquiry and relate classroom ideas to the outside "real world."

William Grover  (Julian, CA)
William Grover (Julian, CA)

  • on Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:50 PM

The open-inquiry template is designed to facilitate student-generated research questions by providing a highly structured, yet open-ended questioning format. The authors suggest that once students understand the process by which meaningful and context-driven research questions are developed, they will be more capable of developing open-ended research questions. The Earth and space lesson provided on impact craters, was neat, and something that can definitely be done in the science classroom. I would love to move my scholars to more inquiry-based instruction, and this particular article did a great job with sustaining my attention and provoking my curiosity.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:06 PM

As the authors remind us, it is sometimes difficult for students to come up with novel research questions and experimental designs to test variables in the earth/space sciences. Their approach is similar to the "4-Question Strategy" that was revisited in an article on pages 61 - 63 of the September 2008 issue of the Science Scope journal (Science Sampler: Caution! Scientists in the Making). Both approaches provide a frame to quide students in using an open inquiry approach to experimentation.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:55 AM

Great resource for helping educators focus on how to engage students so that they are asking questions and driving their own learning.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:38 PM

I am greatful to have run across this article. The information is invaluable and presented in a logical manner. Although I work with middle school classes, I appreciate information. We mostly have earth science in middle school so this model is on time. Thanks.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:34 AM

Open inquiry is a great strategy to use for High School students.

LeRoy A
LeRoy A

  • on Thu May 12, 2011 6:33 PM

Why are the authors suggesting to make a model based on kinematics to explain a phenomenon that occurs at reduced gravity? The article has a good rubric for scoring student inquiry methods, but I wouldn't use their methods as a template.

Therese H  (Salisbury, MD)
Therese H (Salisbury, MD)

Free Offering

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.