Last week, we had wonderful moments in the World of Inquiry School. We got the some animals’ skulls and we had an opportunity to look at them closely. Actually, I had no idea about what animals they were because it was the first time I could touch a skull. We tried to guess by looking at their specialties like size, shape, front teeth, etc.
One point we missed that they got teeth that their shapes were the biggest clue for the guess because teeth are changing according to the animals’ diet. Our skulls’ teeth were like choppers so it was a herbivore. The other clue was that its’ size so it should belong to a small animal. Next, we look at other specialties like flat head. Then, yes! It was a little muskrat!!
What is the Scientific Inquiry?
Lederman and Lederman (2012) define the scientific inquiry (SI) as methodical skills to find answers to scientists’ questions; these are observing, inferring, classifying, predicting, measuring, questioning, interpreting, and analyzing data. With this activity, we could try to find the answer with scientific inquiry.
These terms look like too similar to each other. For example, are observing and inferring the same? We looked at the same skulls and tried to predict what they were. Observation and inference sometimes thought as the same but, no, they are not the same. Lederman and Lederman (2012) also mention that there is a distinction between observation and inference. The Observation is the general overview about the undefined things with our sense. On the other hand, the inference is giving meaning to what we observe with our senses. For that reason, we were all looked at the same skull but we could say different animals’ names. There were many animals names raised but the winner was a muskrat.
Lederman, N. G., & Lederman, J. S. (2012). Nature of scientific knowledge and scientific inquiry: Building instructional capacity through professional development. In B. J. Fraser, G. Tobin, K, & C. J. McRobbie (Eds.), Second International Handbook of Science Education (pp. 335–359). Londo. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9041-7