The current goal of science education in the United States is for all students to become proficient in science by the time they finish high school. In order to be considered proficient in science, students need to learn more than facts and terms. Students need to learn how to use disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), crosscutting concepts (CCs), and science and engineering practices (SEPs) to explore or explain the world around them or to solve problems. They also need to develop science specific literacy skills so they can read, write, and speak in the context of science.
We developed the Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) instructional model as a tool for science teachers. Teachers can use ADI to transform the way they teach labs so students have more opportunities to learn how to use DCIs, CCs, and SEPs to figure out how things work or why things happen. ADI also gives students opportunities to learn how to read, write, speak, and listen in science because it makes scientific argumentation the foundation of all laboratory activities. ADI, as a result, makes classroom science more like real science for students and can help them learn more than they typically do from hands-on lab activities.
ADI is not a curriculum. It is a way of teaching that can be integrated into any grade 3-12 science curriculum. The ADI instructional model consists of 8 stages. Each of these stages gives students an opportunity to participate in different science and engineering practices during a lab. The stages of ADI are the same for each investigation so students have an opportunity to improve over time. The 8 stage structure of ADI also makes it easy for schools or districts to adopt it as a way to increase student achievement in science or literacy because it can be used across grades and content areas.
We developed ADI using current research about how people learn science and recent recommendations for improving laboratory instruction. We also field-tested and refined this instructional approach inside numerous classrooms as part of our research projects. If you are looking for a way to give students more opportunities to learn how to “figure things out” inside the classroom instead of just “learning about things” in science, ADI provides a way for you to make this shift.
All the instructional materials that a teacher needs to begin using ADI in her or his classroom.