inquiry based learning

Subject: inquiry based learning
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 21:17:30 -0800

Dear Everyone,   Just got back from my daughter's school where they did their presentations after a quarter 
studying different aspects of space.  It was cool.  Each child had chosen a topic to do alone or with others.  
They ranged from Jupiter to aliens to the Big Bang (my daughter's).  This is a K-7 school, so 
presentations varied greatly in their depth and polish.  The kids do all their own work, with the teachers 
acting as guides in helping them figure out what they want to do, find material, and work up their 
presentation.  They also had group-wide field trips, speakers, etc., and some experiments along the way.  
"Countdown" was, of course, included, both at school and at home (with all the copies I've made, my kids 
have it memorized!).  
	My question is, I know it's good to have the kids do the work and learn themselves, but when do 
you step in and say, no, that's wrong.  Some of the presentations had basic errors in science, like: the 
moon causes the tides on both sides of the world; the shuttle stays up because there's no gravitity in 
space; black holes don't release light, but no knowledge of why; a presentation on white holes, when you 
pressed them, they admitted they were just theoretical, but made them look factual.  I'm glad the kids were 
motivated enuf to do all the work, but it bothers me to think other kids will listen and think somethings's 
right because they learned it al school.
	When do we step in and correct them?  How much telling do we do to ensure that what they learn 
and present is actual fact as we now know it?  Let's discuss this please, jkc

Janet K. Cook, Science Instructor, Night Program

Colorado's Finest Alternative High School
2323 W. Baker Ave., Englewood, CO 80110
Phone (303) 934-5786 (2:00 pm-10:30 pm)
Fax (303) 934-9183
Voice Mail (303)806-2000 x 1904

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