by Bill Metz and Julia Gooding
This book is a collection of standards-based middle school challenges written in the design brief format, a strategy that blends the design process of technology education with the content and process skills of science. Simply, design briefs can be thought of as situations that require identifying, investigating, and analyzing problems. During this process, students research existing ideas, craft new thoughts, select and test possible solutions, collect and display information, analyze data, and evaluate and present data-supported outcomes in meaningful ways.
Each brief is introduced with a context statement and a brief scenario, which help establish the dilemma. The challenge invites students to solve a problem while adhering to specific limitations and rules. Whether using a kit program, a textbook, or a self-developed curriculum, this publication is a valuable asset to any collection of science education resources.
While a possible procedure is provided for each design brief, it should never be considered the only procedure. The rationale for this position is that true inquiry is unique to each individual problem solver or team. While the final outcome may be specific, the means by which that outcome is reached can be as varied as the people seeking it.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Julia Gooding grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh but did not pursue teaching until she moved to South Carolina at the age of twenty-four. While there she taught virtually every science discipline, wrote and implemented a variety of curricula, and became National Board Certified. Now, sixteen years later, she is back in Pennsylvania and pursuing a doctoral degree at Robert Morris University. She is committed to challenging all students, regardless of their learning styles, a characteristic that is inherent in the uniqueness of Inquiry by Design. It reflects both her creativity and her understanding of science and children.
Bill Metz began his career in 1966 as a third grade teacher in Philadelphia. During the seventies, he completed his doctorate at Temple University while continuing to work as a teacher and as a general contractor on weekends and summers. After a stint as a middle school science teacher, he changed his career to science supervision, a position from which he retired in 2002. He taught graduate school at three universities, wrote and implemented a number of science curricula, and trained hundreds of teachers. Inquiry by Design is his third book, taking only twenty years to go from dream to fruition.
(2006, paperback, 274 pages)
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