Friday, October 12, 2012

What Is a Research Question?

During a recent professional development session among middle level science teachers, we pondered the criteria for an excellent research question. Powerful ideas emerged from our collective thinking.

Investigating Heating and Cooling Rates
An excellent research question:
  • clearly identifies variables that will be tested
  • helps visualize/identify equipment and materials needed to perform tests
  • provides information about data that can be collected during the test
  • is related to background information and observations
  • reveals thinking about causes and effects
  • is realistic, real world, and testable
  • uses specific content vocabulary

There was a palpable feeling of accomplishment and pride at the end of our collaborative session, as we celebrated our continued progress in developing a common vision for authentic and meaningful science learning in our school district.

I know that professional development days can often cause inconvenience for parents, but providing quality collaboration time for teachers is a worthy investment in our children's education. Thank you for indulging us in these rich and rewarding professional experiences.

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