If one scans the science curriculum statements of the Australian States and Territories, one will find a consistent theme of inquiry and inquiry pedagogy pervading these documents. With the rhetoric of these policy documents and our sense of science education history, one would expect to see inquiry as an integral part of our secondary science classrooms. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many secondary students are taught science that is perceived by them to be neither relevant nor engaging. Furthermore, traditional didactic teaching methods that offer little challenge, excitement or opportunities for engagement are common. There is a considerable gap between the intended curriculum as described in the various curriculum documents and the actual curriculum experienced by students. This presentation describes a national pilot study, the Collaborative Australian Secondary Science Program (CASSP), which attempts to provide better information for responding to the challenge of converting the inquiry rhetoric into classroom reality.
Goodrum, Dennis, "Inquiry in science classrooms - rhetoric or reality?" (2006).