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Inquiry: Learning Science by Doing Science

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD

Learning Cycle Models

Many effective instructional models for teaching science involve versions of the "learning cycle."  Generally, learning cycle models are (USE? APPLY? REFLECT?) constructivist approaches. In other words, the learner builds his or her own understanding. Learning cycle models typically include a focus or discovery phase, which serves to pique student interest and allow teachers to assess existing student understandings. Next, students have opportunities to explore a question and collect evidence. Finally, students reflect on their investigations to build a new understanding. Learning cycle assessments usually have students applying their new knowledge to a unique situation. The teacher's role is that of facilitator or coach.