Date of this Version
American Entomologist (Fall 2013) 59(3): 183-187.
Publication of the 1996 National Science Education Standards (NSES) initiated a push to transform science education by engaging K-12 students in active learning through inquiry-based teaching (National Research Council, 1996). Students need opportunities to construct knowledge by asking questions, developing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and communicating results. Inquiry teaching has been shown to improve students’ attitudes toward science, enhance their performance, and promote scientific literacy (Haury, 1993; Lindberg, 1990: Mattheis and Nakayama, 1988; Rakow, 1986).
Providing both pre- and in-service teachers with courses and professional development programs that promote inquiry teaching are vital to teacher education (National Research Council, 2000). Although many teachers have encountered inquiry instruction, either through pre-professional education or during professional development, some still need in-service experiences, particularly K-6 teachers.
Conclusions: Based upon increasing enrollment in the course, we conclude that educators are seeking opportunities for professional development through online delivery. We have demonstrated that this course fulfills the need to help educators increase their science content knowledge and adopt an inquiry-based pedagogical approach to teaching science. This course could also be offered to PK-12 pre-service teachers.
The curriculum design and model of instruction of ENTO 810, including online delivery, is a viable pedagogical approach for integrating science content with science processes, and serves as a model of instruction for other life sciences-based courses that target educators and other professionals.