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Paper: The Utility of Inquiry-Based Exercises in Mexican Science Classrooms: Reports from a Professional Development Workshop for Science Teachers in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 459
Authors: Racelis, A. E.; Brovold, A. A.
Abstract: The quality of science teaching is of growing importance in Mexico. Mexican students score well below the world mean in math and science. Although the government has recognized these deficiencies and has implemented new policies aimed to improve student achievement in the sciences, teachers are still encountering in-class barriers to effective teaching, especially in public colleges. This paper reports on the utility of inquiry based exercises in Mexican classrooms. In particular, it describes a two-day professional development workshop with science teachers at the Instituto Tecnologico Superior in Felipe Carrillo Puerto in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Felipe Carrillo Puerto is an indigenous municipality where a significant majority of the population speak Maya as their first language. This alone presents a unique barrier to teaching science in the municipality, but accompanied with other factors such as student apathy, insufficient prior training of both students and teachers, and pressure to deliver specific science curriculum, science teachers have formidable challenges for effective science teaching. The goals of the workshop were to (1) have a directed discussion regarding science as both content and process, (2) introduce inquiry based learning as one tool of teaching science, and (3) get teachers to think about how they can apply these techniques in their classes.
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