How does the model of Inquiry-Based Science Education work in the kindergarten: The case of biology
ERGAZAKI, MARIDA; University of Patras
ZOGZA, VASSILIKI; University of Patras, Greece
This paper reports on seven case studies that were carried out in the context of the “Fibonacci” project and have to do with implementing inquiry-based didactic sequences of biology in kindergarten classes. The aim is to shed light on the teaching and learning practices that may be activated in a non-traditional educational setting such as the one of IBSE and the extent to which they actually are. The classes that took part were run by teachers who received IBSE-training as members of the local “Fibonacci” network. These classes were observed by us with the “IBSE diagnostic tool” that has been developed in the context of the project. The analysis of our data shows that the participating teachers were successful in activating most of the teaching practices that are required for building on children’s ideas, some of those required for supporting children’s investigations and all of those required for prompting children to communicate their ideas. On the contrary, teachers appeared to have significant difficulties in activating the teaching practices that have to do with the crucial phase of conclusions. Finally, children showed difficulties in the phases of investigation and conclusions - particularly in learning practices such as making/testing predictions or interpreting results - that haven’t been adequately prompted by the teachers.
Inquiry-Based Science Education, biology in early childhood education, teaching practices in kindergarten, learning practices in kindergarten