Teaching Science Through Inquiry-Based Instruction, 13th Edition

Terry L. Contant all

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Teaching Science Through Inquiry-Based Instruction, 13th Edition

By Terry L. Contant, Joel L. Bass, Anne A. Tweed, Arthur A. Carin
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For undergraduate level courses in elementary science methods.


Teaching Science Through Inquiry-Based Instruction provides theory and practical advice for elementary and middle school teachers to help their students learn science. Written at a time of substantive change in science education, this book deals both with what’s currently happening and what’s expected in science classes in elementary and middle schools. Readers explore the nature of science, its importance in today’s world, trends in science education, and national science standards. 



Terry L. Contant is the Science Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at LEARN, the Regional Educational Service Center for southeastern Connecticut. She holds a BA in Natural Sciences from Case Western Reserve University and a MA and Ed.D. in Science Education from the University of Houston.


Her work at LEARN includes, science-focused professional development and curriculum development for schools and districts in collaboration with the CT Department of Education in their efforts to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. 


Anne L. Tweed, is the Director of STEM Learning with McREL International in Denver. She holds a BA in Biology from Colorado College and an MS in Botany from the University of Minnesota. Her work at McREL includes educational research, curriculum development and professional development related to science, math and STEM teaching and learning. She also provides technical assistance to districts and state departments of education around developing and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards and project-based STEM initiatives. 


Joel E. Bass, Professor Emeritus of Education at his retirement in 2000, enthusiastically taught science and science methods for 35 years at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Dr Bass held a BA from Baylor University, an MS from Sam Houston State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. While he was a professor, Dr. Bass inspired many future elementary and middle school teachers to make science teaching part of their classroom practice. 


Arthur A. Carin, served as a faculty member at Queens College for 33 years until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 2003. Dr, Carin earned an undergraduate degree at State University of New York, Oswego; a masters degree at Queens College, and an Ed.D. at the University of Utah. Through five decades of exemplary writing, research and service, Dr. Carin had a significant, positive impact on science education.

  • Encourages readers to actively engage with the concepts and ideas of science education through the 5E Instructional Model. Ten chapters introduce the reader to key aspects of science teaching and learning at the K-8 Grade levels. Each chapter is organised to engage readers with the material and to provide context, guide learners through the topics presented using Exploration Activities, explain related theory and research-based instructional strategies, elaborate on the content presented in the context of real-world learning environments, and evaluate understanding, encourage reflection, and extend learning.

  • Stimulates deep reflection and application of learning that students can use in the field.

    • NEW: More than 75 classroom activities provide examples of instruction that interweave the three dimensions of science–Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Activities are aligned with specific elementary grade levels and NGSS Performance Expectations.

    • End-of-chapter discussion questions encourage readers to think critically about how theory relates to field practice.

    • Professional Practice Activities provide ideas for lessons to try out in a classroom setting.

    • Updated: Additional resources include tools and templates that allow learners to explore teaching topics and methods in more detail.

    • An entire chapter about the use of technology in science learning (Chapter 8) provides a review of technology that teachers can use to support data collection during inquiries, along with an explanation about the relationship between science and technology and their link to STEM instruction. The STEM Activities section includes a full set of STEM learning classroom activities.

    • Updated: Every chapter includes real-world classroom features that relate to issues that teacher candidates will face in their own classrooms.

    • Updated: An elaborated section highlights the importance of developing a positive classroom environment.

    • Chapter 10 focuses on making meaningful science education available for all learners including those with special needs and disabilities, those who need assistance with language acquisition, and those who are identified as needing individual education plans.

  • Guides learning and makes studying easier.

    • NEW: Learning Goals at the beginning of each chapter align with section headings and end-of-chapter summaries.

    • The highly visual presentation of information (graphic organisers, charts, etc.) helps learners retain important concepts.

    • NEW: Science Process skills are now featured in the Appendix for easy reference.

Table of contents
  1. Science and Science Education

  2. Getting Ready for Inquiry Instruction

  3. Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

  4. Learning Science with Understanding

  5. Engaging in Inquiry-Based Instruction and Using the 5-E Model

  6. Effective Questioning

  7. Assessing Science Learning

  8. Using Technology Tools and Resources for Science Learning

  9. Connecting Science with Other Subjects

  10. Making Science Accessible for All Learners