Learning to teach inquiry with ICT

Trinh Ba Tran, Ed Van Den Berg, Ton Ellermeijer, Jos Beishuizen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research has shown that the objectives for laboratory teaching - just as with other teaching methods - are often not achieved and that many laboratory sessions are ineffective and yet expensive in terms of pupil and teacher time, and facilities. There are several reasons for this, but one reason is that instructions for many lab activities are too prescriptive and leave too little room for thinking and creativity of pupils. Even though this problem had been pointed out already in the early 1980s, it has persisted to this day. Additionally, ICT tools such as data logging, video measurement, and modelling have been available to secondary schools for decades. These tools provide unique opportunities for authentic investigations at the secondary school level. However, even friendly software might require considerable instruction and reinforce a prescriptive approach. Therefore, we developed a course for pre-service and in-service teachers to learn to apply ICT tools in a minds-on and inquiry way. The short course (1 ECTS = 28 study hours) described in this article was tried out in three different countries (the Netherlands, Slovakia, Vietnam) and improved through different cycles of iterative development. Its pedagogical principles were validated through research and may be applicable and useful in other areas of teacher education and professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015003
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2017


  • ict
  • Inquiry-based education
  • Teacher education


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