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Inquiry Science Learning: Perspectives and Practices 2 - Techniques for Success

This is the second in a series of four courses; each addressing a different set of skills science educators need to meet the demands of their career. In this course, teachers will engage in experiences designed to develop the skills needed to create a more powerful science learning environment in their classroom.


Course at a Glance

About the Course

A revolution is underway in science classrooms. The demands of the new workplace and the ready access to information afforded by new technologies have radically changed the way we define a scientifically literate society. 

More than ever teachers need professional development that provides them with the resources they need and empowers them to take the action required to build classrooms where the next generation of scientifically literate students will flourish. 

Inquiry Science Learning: Perspectives and Practices consists of four courses, each designed to address a different strand in the development of skills teachers need to meet the demands of their career, including the following.

  1. Science Leadership
  2. Techniques for Success
  3. Science Content
  4. Student-Centered Inquiry

In this second course we will focus on helping teachers master techniques and strategies that create a learning environment that will empower students and enhance their mastery of science content and skills.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Standards Dissection:

Participants will learn how to analyze the verbiage of their science standards in order to turn the concepts within into meaningful learning experiences

Week 2: Assessment That Informs Teaching:

Participants will learn how to evaluate and develop better multiple choice assessment items to provide useable data

Week 3: Questioning Strategies:

Participant will learn how to construct rich questions that will encourage all learners to participate in the inquiry process

Week 4: Prepared Environment:

Participants will learn easy ways to change their classroom environment in order to promote independent exploration

Recommended Background

No previous coursework is recommended, but the course will be most helpful to teachers with 3 or more years of teaching experience who are willing to directly apply experiences in their schools. While the course was designed with the K-8 teacher in mind, the topics covered are appropriate for all teachers, including those teaching in high school.

Suggested Readings

The suggested readings will be provided at a later date.

Course Format

Students will explore text, video and multimedia presentations and reflect (in writing and orally), with instructors and fellow students to help process the learning and to receive feedback. The course will include the submission of products that demonstrate mastery


Who should take this course?
This course will be helpful to any teacher of science in a school setting. While the ideal participant would most likely be a teacher in grade 3-8, the content will be relevant to teachers in lower or higher grades who are ready to take on a leadership in science or for those who are already called up to take such a role.

Are CPE hours awarded? What about a certificate?
Upon successful completion of the course and achievement of an identity-verified certificate (available exclusively by joining Signature Track), participants will be given a certificate indicating the awarding of sixteen (16) hours of CPE credit. The Rice Center for Digital Learning and Scholarship is certified within the state of Texas to award CPE credit. Participants will have to contact their local school district to verify whether or not these will be accepted locally. 

Participants who complete all four courses in the Inquiry Science Learning series, and earn a Verified Certificate (available exclusively by joining Signature Track) for each course, may contact the Rice Center for Digital Learning and Scholarship to request a certificate related to the overall program.

What else do I get if I take this course?
This course was designed and will be taught by instructors with a combined total of more than fifty years of classroom experience. Besides collaborating with these instructors and other participants from around the world, you will get access to a variety of invaluable resources, including K-12 online science curriculum at