As an introductory course on Light, the main IBSE approaches employed here are interactive discussion/demonstration, guided discovery and guided inquiry. Through the activities the students develop basic skills to perform and plan scientific inquiry:

  • Asking and answering appropriate questions
  • Planning and conducting simple scientific investigations
  • Giving priority to empirical evidence
  • Using empirical evidence as the basis for their explanations of phenomena
  • Communicating and discussing their observations and explanations
  • Revising explanations based on further investigations.

Although light is a subject with which students have familiarity, questioning their conceptual understanding can quickly reveal gaps that can be exploited to form the basis of the subsequent investigations. The difficulty for the teacher lies in balancing the requirement that students (re)evaluate and (re)develop their own concepts, while simultaneously guiding them away from misconceptions and misguided interpretations. Therefore a key part of the IBSE character of this unit is to allow discussion between students of the pros and cons of particular lines of thought, interpretation of data, and conclusions drawn.