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Abstract

In the new biology-learning curriculum for Israeli high schools, known as Biomind, students experience “open-inquiry.'' This paper describes a qualitative action research project that was performed in order to investigate the characteristics of the open inquiry learning process. Specifically, the research investigates this process in terms of the concepts of evidence, affective aspects, and other aspects that may emerge by following the open inquiry process. This paper also discusses how the findings from the open inquiry process can be used for further curriculum improvement.

This research characterized the open inquiry as a dynamic inquiry learning process. The main criteria for characterizing the dynamic inquiry are learning as a process, changes occurring during the research, procedural understanding, and affective points of view. The paper further suggests methods of documenting the dynamic inquiry process. This documentation can assist in understanding the inquiry process from both the cognitive and metacognitive points of view. The educational and research processes described here contributed both to improving the curriculum and to establishing an infrastructure through which the science education community can emphasize dynamic aspects of science in open inquiry learning. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed.88:728–753, 2004