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Inquiry in motion

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Inquiry in motion (IIM) has a goal of improving the motivation, potential, and achievement of students and teachers through sustained engagement in science, math, engineering, and technology.[1] IIM achieves increased teaching performance and improved student achievement largely by providing numerous support structures for teachers as they learn to facilitate more inquiry-based learning environments that are well aligned with constructivist learning philosophies.

A dynamic lesson-planning tool for K–12 math and science teachers is one central component of the IIM program.[2] Within the Tool, teachers can use Public Lessons as is, modify an existing lesson by moving it into My WorkSpace, or create New Lessons for public or personal viewing.

Lessons from the Lesson Planning Tool integrate key concepts (essential ideas) into an inquiry-based learning environment and are based on the 4E x 2 Instructional Model. The 4E x 2 Instructional Model is based on the premise that student achievement increases when teachers effectively incorporate three critical learning constructs into their teaching practice: (1) inquiry instruction,[3] (2) formative assessment,[4] and (3) teacher reflection.[5] 4E x 2 Instructional Model has been published in numerous research and practitioner publications [6][7]

Teacher success implementing inquiry-based instruction can be measured using EQUIP (Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol). EQUIP is a descriptive rubric designed to measure the degree to which inquiry-based instruction is occurring in the classroom and contains nineteen indicators (e.g., instructional strategies, questioning ecology) and five constructs (e.g., instruction, assessment). Reliability and validity was tested during the three-year development and refinement process.[8][9]

In 2008–2009, the data from the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test show a clear difference among the growth seen on Virtual Control Group (students from other districts with similar demographic composition), the Control Group (non-participating teachers from Greenville County), and the Study Group (participants in the Inquiry in Motion program). Specifically, the data show that the students of participating teachers significantly outperformed the students of non-participating teachers from their same school. Both groups also exceeded the performance of students from the virtual control group. These trends were seen for student performance in both science content and science process. The implication is that as the quantity and quality of inquiry-based instruction improves, so too does student achievement.


  1. "Inquiry in Motion". www.clemson.edu. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  2. "Inquiry in Motion". www.clemson.edu. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  3. National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education standards: A guide for teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  4. Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998a). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education, 5(1), 7–74.
  5. "Making A Difference in Quality Teaching and Student Achievement" (PDF). National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  6. Marshall, J. C.; Horton, B.; Smart, J. (2009). "4E x 2 Instructional Model: Uniting three learning constructs to improve praxis in science and mathematics classrooms". Journal of Science Teacher Education. 20 (6): 501–516. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s10972-008-9114-7.
  7. Marshall, J. C. & Horton, R. M. (2009) Developing, assessing, and sustaining inquiry-based instruction: A guide for math and science teachers and leaders. Germany: VDM Verlag.
  8. Marshall, J. C.; Smart, J.; Horton, R. M. (2010). "The design and validation of EQUIP: An instrument to assess inquiry-based instruction". International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. 8 (2): 299–321. doi:10.1007/s10763-009-9174-y.
  9. Marshall, J. C.; Horton, B.; White, C. (2009). "EQUIPping teachers: A protocol to guide and improve inquiry-based instruction". The Science Teacher. 76 (4): 46–53.

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