TERC’s Inquiry Project Cited in Harvard Education Letter Article on Learning Progressions

June 30, 2010



CAMBRIDGE, MA–TERC’s Inquiry Project is featured in the July/August 2010 issue of the Harvard Education Letter. “Learning Progressions in Science: A New Approach Emphasizes Sustained Instruction in Big Ideas” by Patti Hartigan explains what ‘learning progressions’ (i.e., sustained, incremental instructional strategies) are and draws on projects and personnel who are using them effectively in elementary science classrooms and beyond. Candace Chick, a 5th grade teacher in Roxbury, has piloted The Inquiry Project in its third year of testing. With the help of a project coach, Chick built up her comfort with teaching science and leading productive classroom discussions—and now, helps her 5th graders work through weekly investigations of materials and weight/volume experiments to build a strong foundation for their later introduction to molecular theory. Chick notes (as quoted in the article), “they [my students] have started to understand that everything has weight and volume, which is a really big deal. I never recall getting to a point where kids would be able to articulate this stuff.”

The Harvard Education Letter is a publication of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Subscribers to the HEL can read the article online at:http://www.edletter.org.

The Inquiry Project—a partnership between TERC and Tufts University—has designed content and strategies to help elementary teachers lay the groundwork for molecular theory studies in junior high and high school by teaching concepts like weight, volume, and density in grades 3-5. To learn more about The Inquiry Project, please visit http://inquiryproject.terc.edu.