Fostering scientific curiosity through strengthening teachers’ understanding of energy and inquiry

M. E. Zayed 1, S. Vokos 2, I. Y. Al‐Qaradawi 1, Z. Said 3, T. Kerr 4, R. Hinrichs 5 *
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1 Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
2 Physics Department, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle WA USA
3 College of the North Atlantic, Department of Engineering Technology, Doha Qatar
4 College of Education, Qatar University, Doha Qatar
5 Physics Department, SUNY Oswego NY USA
* Corresponding Author
EUROPEAN J SCI MATH ED, Volume 2, Issue 2A, pp. 219-227. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/9647
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ABSTRACT

It has been recognized for many years that the topic of energy is an avenue that provides students with engaging opportunities to experience how science is actually done. As a topic, energy cuts across many disciplines and also provides many opportunities to develop a series of practices or skills of how science works. Inquiry is certainly more than hands‐on science and is in part a state of mind – that of inquisitiveness. How do we create an educational system that exploits the natural curiosity of children? This paper will discuss the initiation of a three‐year, multifaceted project in Qatar that seeks to strengthen teachers’ understandings of energy, foster scientific curiosity, and enhance lab‐based and class‐based inquiry skills. Of importance to this study is an understanding of students’ and teachers’ views on the Nature of Science (NOS); a survey (VOSTS) of 1100 secondary school students and teachers in Qatar allowed us to look at both weaknesses and strengths. Part of our approach was the creation of an Energy Institute, begun in summer 2013. Opportunities and obstacles will be discussed as well as strategies that seem to have the most impact.

CITATION

Zayed, M. E., Vokos, S., Al‐Qaradawi, I. Y., Said, Z., Kerr, T., & Hinrichs, R. (2014). Fostering scientific curiosity through strengthening teachers’ understanding of energy and inquiry. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(2A), 219-227. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/9647

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